Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam --- (METERING.COM) --- June 8, 2009 - A group of people including former Ho Chi Minh City Electricity Company officials have been sentenced to imprisonment for their involvement in an electric meter purchasing scam.

The former director of the company, Le Minh Hoang, 64, was sentenced to four years in prison. His deputy Le Van Hoanh was sentenced to four years and six months.

Ten other officials, including Le Ngo Huu Thien Tam, former head of the company’s international co-operation office, and Pham Kim Hung, former chief accountant, and others were given imprisonment terms of between six months and three years, with some given suspended sentences.

The state run HCM City Electricity Company had chosen the company Linkton Vina to supply 10,000 single-phase electricity meters in violation of tender regulations, as the Singapore-based company had not submitted all the required paperwork. The company also bought a further 302,000 meters from Linkton, of which 272,000 meters had not been budgeted for by its parent company, Electricity of Vietnam.

Officials of Linkton were also sentenced for “producing and trading in fake products”. Tran Thi Lien, deputy chairwoman, and Tran Cong Dien, deputy general director of Linkton Vina Company, were fined VND50 million (US$2,800) each. The two were also ordered to pay VND8.1 billion (US$455,000) as compensation to the state for selling fake electricity meters.