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Former government office head receives warning over Covid repatriation flight scandal

By Viet Tuan   January 13, 2023 | 04:01 am PT
Former government office head receives warning over Covid repatriation flight scandal
Former head of the government office Mai Tien Dung. Photo courtesy of the Vietnam Government Portal
Former head of the government office Mai Tien Dung received a warning from the Communist Party's Secretariat on Friday, one day after he was recommended for discipline by the Party's Central Inspection Commission.

The warning was issued after the Secretariat reviewed Dung’s violations in the past as head of the government office. Dung was found to have violated democratic centralism principles, as well as the Party regulations and the law; being negligent regarding the organization of Covid-19 repatriation flights, allowing certain people from the government office to give and take bribes.

Dung's violations have caused severe consequences and affected the reputation of the Party and the state’s administrative entities, said the Secretariat which handles the Party's personnel affairs.

Dung, 64, has been a member of the Party Central Committee, chairman of the Ha Nam Province People's Committee and the Party Secretary of the northern province. From April 2016 to April 2021, he was the head of the government office, before retiring from his post.

Vietnam's Communist Party has four modes of punishment for misconduct by official members: reprimand, warning, demotion and expulsion.

An ongoing investigation into the Covid-19 flight repatriation bribery scandal has resulted in the arrest of more than 40 officials and businesspeople over the past year, including high-ranking officials like former deputy foreign minister To Anh Dung, for either accepting bribes, giving bribes, committing fraud or abuse of power.

The Ministry of Public Security said in June that each repatriation flight earned profits of several billion Vietnamese dong (VND1 billion = $42,580) after deducting costs.

Vietnam had operated around 400 repatriation flights to bring home residents stranded overseas during the global Covid outbreaks.

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