Construction Ministry chief inspectors disciplined in bribery scandal

By Vo Hai   May 3, 2020 | 07:28 pm PT
A current and a former chief inspector of the Construction Ministry have been punished after their subordinates were caught soliciting bribes last year.

The disciplinary action against the two officials was taken after the Central Inspection Committee reviewed violations committed by the Communist Party unit of the ministry's inspectorate and decided on punishments for related individuals, according to an announcement issued Sunday.

Pham Gia Yen, former Party secretary and chief of the construction ministry's inspectorate, has been stripped of all positions in the Communist Party. His successor Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, current Party secretary and chief of the inspectorate, has received an official warning.

Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, chief inspector of the Ministry of Construction. Photo courtesy of the ministrys newspaper Xay Dung.

Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, chief inspector of the Ministry of Construction. Photo courtesy of the ministry's newspaper Xay Dung.

The two officials were held mainly responsible for violations committed by the Party unit of the ministry's inspectorate, which negatively affected the reputations of the Party, the construction ministry and the inspectorate sector, causing public discontent and meriting disciplinary action.

The Central Inspection Committee has also asked the ministry's Party unit to take disciplinary action against its inspectorate’s Party unit for violations committed during the 2015-2020 term. The inspectorate's Party unit had failed to follow working regulations and shown negligence in its leadership, not duly directing, inspecting and monitoring tasks, enabling multiple violations to occur, the committee concluded.

For their involvement in the bribery case, Nguyen Thi Kim Anh and Dang Hai Anh, members of the ministry's inspectorate, were expelled from the Party.

Four other officials, including Kim Anh and Hai Anh's direct superiors, were also reprimanded by the committee.

The Communist Party of Vietnam has four modes of punishment against members: reprimand, warning, demotion and expulsion.

The Central Inspection Committee's investigation of violations committed by the construction ministry's inspectorate was launched after a team headed by Kim Anh was caught receiving bribes while inspecting construction projects in Vinh Phuc Province's Vinh Tuong District.

According to Vinh Phuc police, Hai Anh, a member of the six-person inspection team, was caught receiving VND90 million ($3,900) from the representative of a construction firm on June 12 last year.

The same day, his superior Kim Anh was also caught taking VND68 million from Tran Hanh, an accountant at the People’s Committee of Tan Tien Commune, which is the investor in a local project, and VND91.5 million from Do Manh Cuong, an accountant with the People's Committee of Tho Tang Town, regarding another project.

The two were arrested the same day, and a third member of the team was detained a few days later. A search of the team's workplace by the police found more than VND335 million ($14,400) in cash and many files of construction firms and investors of construction projects in Vinh Tuong District.

A criminal investigation into the bribery case was launched on June 18 last year.

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