The Hanoi People’s Court on October 2 opened the first hearing for Le Quoc Quan, who was arrested on charges of tax fraud last December.

Quan, 42, born in the central province of Nghe An, set up the Vietnam Solution Co. Ltd company in April 2001 with its headquarters in Cau Giay district, Hanoi . By June 2012, the company allegedly had its business registration certificate changed 13 times, with the last focusing on market research information services.

Since establishing the company, Quan signed a number of contracts with domestic and foreign individuals and businesses and collected over 13 billion VND (600,000 USD) in turnover.

According to the investigation agency, Quan instructed his accountant and cashier to contact a number of economic experts. These experts were then ostensibly hired using fake contracts to raise the company’s operational cost, meaning it had to pay less in corporate income tax.

Quan is also charged with buying bogus added-value tax invoices to legalise the declaration for tax deduction.

In 2010 and 2011, his company struck consultation deals worth 1.75 billion VND (80,000 USD) with nine experts. The tax deductions meant that the company reportedly dodged payment of over 649 million VND (30,900 USD).

The experts who were ‘hired’ have each admitted to signing the fake contracts for a 1-3 million VND (40 – 140 USD) reward each.

The investigation agency said Quan instructed his staff to fraudulently appropriate tax breaks, a crime condemned and punished across the world.

However, immediately after the investigation agency began proceedings against Quan, some foreign individuals, organisations and religious dignitaries distorted the case, demanding freedom for him.

Their actions are politically motivated and aimed at interfering in Vietnam ’s internal affairs, complicating the situation for their own purposes.

Quan’s accountant Pham Thi Phuong, 31, is also under arrest.-VNA