Former deputy health minister arrested for negligence

By Pham Du   March 11, 2022 | 01:19 am PT
Former deputy health minister arrested for negligence
Former Deputy Health Minister Cao Minh Quang. Photo by Vietnam Television
Former Deputy Health Minister Cao Minh Quang has been detained pending investigation of charges of negligence leading to losses for the state, police announced Friday.

The losses have to do with failure to check implementation of drugs imported by a pharmaceutical company.

Duong Huy Lieu, 74, former head of the Financial Planning Department under the Ministry of Health, is also being investigated for "negligence resulting in serious consequences" and has been placed under house arrest.

Police said Quang and Lieu had failed to check and evaluate terms to buy drug ingredients at discounted prices negotiated by the Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Joint Stock Company.

The failure led authorities to miss the fact that the drug firm was able to get a discount of $3.848 million on a purchase, the obscuring of which led to losses. It was not clear how the firm hid the discount obtained and what was done with the money.

Another former head of the financial planning department, Nguyen Nam Lien, is also being investigated on similar charges.

In the same case, police had previously investigated Luong Van Hoa, former director of the Cuu Long firm, and Nguyen Thanh Tong, former deputy director, for "abuse of power or position in performance of official duties."

Late last year, Quang had also been pulled up for disciplinary action by the Communist Party's Central Inspection Commission for "misconduct" at the health ministry. He had also been relieved of all his Party positions.

Quang was the head of the Drug Administration of Vietnam from 2004 to 2007, then deputy health minister until 2013 before retiring.

The Cuu Long Pharmaceutical Company, in the southern Vinh Long Province, has operated for over 40 years and owns four factories.

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