Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Alleged scam mastermind faces life sentence


Prosecutors Wednesday recommended life imprisonment for the alleged mastermind of a high-profile postal equipment purchase scam.
Nguyen Lam Thai should never be released if found guilty of charges of fraud, tax evasion and forgery, prosecutors said.
Thai, 46, was arrested in June 2005.
He was later charged with faking quotations, invoices and other documents so his group, CIP, which comprised seven companies, could win 110 contracts worth more than VND31 billion (US$1.9 million) to supply equipment to 26 post offices.
Thai and his companies bought low-priced equipment and forged their origins to sell them to post offices at much higher prices.
They also illegally “bought” 82 blank value-added tax invoices to declare fake purchases to evade tax of more than VND3.2 billion ($200,000).
During his trial, Thai has denied any wrongdoing.
The former bosses of 12 post offices in central and southern provinces, charged with “deliberate violation of the government’s economic management regulations causing serious consequences,” are facing jail terms between 30 months and eight years for approving purchases from Thai’s companies without organizing tenders as required by law.
Lawyers will spell out defense for their clients today.
The hearing, which began on April 9, is set to last for a month.
Reported by Le Nga
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