Former top public security officials face criminal probe in Vietnam

By Ba Do   December 15, 2018 | 07:57 am GMT+7

Two former deputy ministers are being probed for alleged involvement in violations committed by jailed property tycoon Phan Van Anh Vu.

Criminal investigations were launched Friday into former deputy ministers of public security Bui Van Thanh, 60, and Tran Viet Tan, 63, for "negligence of responsibility, causing serious consequences."

Both former officials were placed under house arrest.

Authorities said the probes into the two former officials are part of an ongoing investigation into jailed real estate tycoon Phan Van Anh Vu and accomplices for "abuse of power or position while in performance of official duties."

The latest investigations come four months after the Prime Minister dismissed Thanh from his position as Deputy Minister of Public Security and retroactively stripped Tan of his title as Deputy Minister of Public Security for the 2011-2016 term.

Former Deputy Minister of Public Security Bui Van Thanh. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

Former Deputy Minister of Public Security Bui Van Thanh. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

Thanh was also dismissed from all Party positions and demoted from lieutenant general to colonel, while Tan lost his former Party position and was demoted from colonel general to lieutenant general.

According to the Politburo, the Communist Party's highest decision-making body, Thanh had committed violations that resulted in "very serious" consequences, negatively affected the reputation of the Party and the public security forces.

Thanh, as the deputy public security minister responsible for the ministry's General Department of Logistics-Engineering and as the department's former general director, was responsible for violations committed by the Standing Committee of the department's Party unit.

He was found to have violated the principle of democratic centralism and shown irresponsibility in leading, managing, inspecting and supervising the department, enabling violations.

Thanh also violated regulations on protecting state secrets and the ministry's working regulations, and broke laws in signing documents proposing the sale of several properties and land lots that belonged to the ministry.

He was also found to have signed a decision allowing Vu to travel abroad and requested a diplomatic passport for him, although the latter was not qualified to get one.

Former Deputy Minister of Public Security Tran Viet Tan. Photo courtesy of Cong An Nhan Dan

Former Deputy Minister of Public Security Tran Viet Tan. Photo courtesy of Cong An Nhan Dan

Meanwhile, Tan, during his time as member of the Executive Committee of the Public Security Force's Party unit, had shown irresponsibility in leading, managing, inspecting and supervising the force. He had also signed a number of documents that violated regulations on protecting state secrets.

Vu, 43, used to be one of the biggest property developers in Da Nang, serving as the chairman of three large property companies and a shareholder in a number of projects in the city.

Last December, authorities issued an international arrest warrant for him for revealing state secrets after he left the country. He was detained in Singapore the same month for violating that country's immigration laws and deported to Vietnam, where he was arrested upon arrival.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison for "deliberately disclosing state secrets" in July. An appeal court in late October commuted his sentence to eight years.

Vu is also under investigation for several charges including "tax evasion," "abuse of power or position in performance of official duties," "abuse of power or position to appropriate property," and "violating regulations on the management and use of state-owned property that led to losses or waste." Some of the cases include alleged graft at Dong A Bank and violations of land regulations in Da Nang and HCMC.

He is currently standing trial for allegedly appropriating over VND200 billion ($8.6 million) from Dong A Bank, for which he could spend 15-17 years in prison if found guilty.

 
 
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