PetroVietnam’s ex-chairman nabbed as corruption crackdown widens

By Staff reporters   December 8, 2017 | 09:49 pm GMT+7
PetroVietnam’s ex-chairman nabbed as corruption crackdown widens
Nguyen Quoc Khanh, a former chairman of PetroVietnam, was arrested Friday for mismanagement at the state energy giant. File photo

The arrest takes place concurrently with that of a disgraced Communist Party official who used to head PetroVietnam.

A former chairman of PetroVietnam was detained Friday after the arrest of a high-profile Communist Party official who used to head the national oil and gas giant rocked the country.

Nguyen Quoc Khanh, who was PetroVietnam chairman from July 2015 to last March, committed violations in assigning Engineering, Procurement and Construction contracts for several thermal power and bio-energy projects, according to the police. The violations took place between 2009 and 2014, when Khanh was vice general director of the group.

Khanh was also removed from the National Assembly, Vietnam’s legislature, on Friday. In Vietnam, sitting lawmakers are immune from prosecution.

Also on Friday, the police arrested Dinh La Thang, who served as chairman of PetroVietnam from 2006 until 2011, for a series of “serious” violations and mismanagement at the state energy giant. In May, Thang was voted out of the then 19-member Politburo, the Party’s decision-making body, and later fired as the top leader of Ho Chi Minh City. Since then, he has been appointed to the post of vice head of the Central Economic Commission, which advises the Party on economic policies.

The Ministry of Industry and Trade said in a statement late Friday that Khanh was also temporarily dismissed from his current role there.

PetroVietnam and the banking sector have been at the heart of a widening corruption crackdown spearheaded by Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong.

In September, four officials from PetroVietnam were also charged with economic mismanagement. Later that month, Nguyen Xuan Son, Khanh’s predecessor as PetroVietnam chairman, was sentenced to death on charges of embezzlement, abuse of power and economic mismanagement.

 
 
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