The Ministry of Public Security said it will set up a team to investigate whether traffic police officials who own, or have family members who own, dump truck fleets are allowing them to violate traffic laws, or in other cases taking bribes from company owners, as reported by Tuoi Tre last month.
Photo: Tuoi Tre
The team will launch investigations in Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai and Ba Ria-Vung Tau provinces to clarify the issue, said Public Security minister Le Hong Anh.
Earlier, Tuoi Tre found that a number of police traffic officers or their relatives own many fleets of dump trucks in Ho Chi Minh City and other localities, allowing the drivers to easily violate traffic laws without fear of retribution, and in other cases company owners pay off police.
The owner of the Cong Khanh truck fleet which operates in Ho Chi Minh City and Binh Duong and Dong Nai provinces is a relative to a high-ranking traffic police officer in Dong Nai.
Cong Khanh carries out most of the contracts for transporting construction materials in the three localities, and its drivers frequently drive at high speeds and ignore traffic regulations.
On the night of May 12 at the Cong Hoa–Ngo Be intersection in Tan Binh District, Ho Chi Minh City, Tuoi Tre saw two traffic policemen ignore dump trucks running at high speeds toward District 12.
One day before, two policemen on Nguyen Thi Tu Street in Binh Tan District only stopped normal trucks or motorbikes that violated traffic regulations, while they let dump trucks through despite various infractions.
In Dong Nai province’s Thong Nhat District, a large fleet of dump trucks is owned by a traffic police officer. The officer’s son, who is head deputy of a local traffic police unit, protects the fleet’s drivers.
An overloaded dump truck travels on Provincial Road 16 in Bien Hoa City, southern Dong Nai Province.
In the province’s Trang Bom District, the Tuan Hanh fleet is co-owned by a man named Tuan and another traffic official. Most of their drivers usually carry cargo beyond the legal load limit and neglect traffic laws.
During a one-hour period on the evening of May 10, Tuoi Tre saw about 40 dump trucks stop near the Hoa An roundabout in Bien Hoa. The drivers got out of their vehicles and approached two policemen standing in an obscured corner on the roadside. Each driver had a short conversation with the officers and then continued on.
In Ba Ria-Vung Tau province, Trung Hieu truck company is owned by a man named Trung, whose brother is a local police officer. Trung told a businessman on May 13 that he would manage the latter’s transport of soil and brick using overloaded trucks to an area near Phu My Port.
On May 10, an owner of a transport company who requested anonymity contacted Lieutenant Hoa, a traffic officer in Trang Bom District, Dong Nai province, to ask for his assistance in transporting construction materials with overloaded dump trucks.
Hoa said it would cost VND1 million (US$48.3) per truck for him to protect the vehicles as they pass through his district. The truck owner agreed to the price.
In another case, Hoa said he contacted some traffic officers in the province’s Thong Nhat District to discuss the transport of brick using five overloaded trucks from the district to the Dau Giay T-junction crossroads.
An officer named Chinh asked Hoa how much he would pay Trang Bom police for protection. After Hoa said the “fee” was VND1.2 million ($US58) per truck, Chinh said, he could not make the decision alone, but later told Hoa he would have to pay only VND500,000 ($24) per vehicle if he was on duty on the route.