Vietnam jails former Vietsovpetro officials in graft crackdown

HANOI (Reuters) - A court in Vietnam jailed two former officials of a Vietnam-Russia oil joint venture on Friday, after convicting them of abusing their power to appropriate property, state media said.

Vietnam is widening a corruption crackdown that has seen the Communist-ruled government launch investigations into hundreds of public officials and jail several executives at state-owned enterprises.

Tu Thanh Nghia, former chief executive officer of Vietsovpetro, and its former chief accountant, Vo Quang Huy, were found guilty of siphoning more than 6 billion dong ($259,000) of interest earned from the company’s account with domestic lender Ocean Bank, the Thanh Nien newspaper said.

The Hanoi People’s Court jailed Huy for seven years and Nghia received a 3-1/2-year term, it added.

Reuters could not immediately reach their lawyers for comment.

Vietsovpetro is 51 percent owned by state-run Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, and Russia’s Zarubezhneft holds the rest.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Clarence Fernandez