Vietnam's former deputy trade minister has been sentenced to 14 years in jail after being found guilty of taking thousands of dollars in bribes from apparel companies exporting to the United States.

Mai Van Dau was found guilty by the Ho Chi Minh City People's Court of accepting bribes worth US$6,000 in 2003 and 2004.

The heavy sentence is part of a crack down on corruption by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung.

Twelve other defendants in the case also received jail terms, including the deputy minister's son, Mai Thanh Hai, who received a five-year sentence, and Le Van Thang, the former deputy head of the trade ministry's import-export department, who received 17 years in jail.

The officials took bribes from Vietnamese textile and garment producers in return for increased quotas to ship their products to the US.