The People's Court in the central province of Khanh Hoa on November 14 sentenced four people to prison terms of 15 to 22 years in the corruption case involving the repair of floating dock 83M of the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines).

The sentences were awarded after a three-day trial.

The case, part of one of the biggest corruption scandals in recent years, related to the purchase and repair of 83M, whose initial cost was pegged at 14.13 million USD and later increased to 24.3 million USD. Originally built in 1965, the dock did not meet licensing or registration requirements and had been unsuitable for use for years.

At the trial, Tran Hai Son, former Director of Vinalines Ship Repair Co. Ltd, was sentenced to 22 years in prison while his accomplices, Tran Van Quang, former deputy head of the company's market planning department, Tran Ba Hung, an officer at Hyundai Vinashin Shipyard, and Pham Ba Giap, former director of the Nguyen An Company, received 18, 17 and 15 year sentences, respectively.

Son, who had received another 22-year sentence in the trial relating to the purchase of the floating dock in May, faced a total of 30 years in prison based on the Penal Code's provisions on penalties in cases where more than one crime is committed.

According to the indictment, when asked to report on the floating dock, Son and Quang colluded with Hung and Giap to increase the repair fees and appropriate 3.4 billion VND (160,000 USD) for themselves. They were arrested in May 2012 and charged with "especially dangerous violations causing public concern and losses for State-owned properties."

During the investigation, the police seized 1.2 billion VND (57,000 USD) in cash from the accused. Besides serving their sentences, the four former officials have also been ordered to return the illegally appropriated money.-VNA