Vietnam arrests another oil giant official for alleged mismanagement

By Staff reporters   September 26, 2017 | 07:02 pm GMT+7

PetroVietnam and the banking sector are at the center of Vietnam’s sweeping corruption crackdown that has ensnared scores of high-ranking officials.

Another official from the scandal-hit PetroVietnam has been arrested and prosecuted over allegations of economic mismanagement at a unit of the energy giant as part of an investigation that has netted a number of oil execs, including a fugitive who “voluntarily returned” last month.

PetroVietnam and the banking sector are at the center of Vietnam’s sweeping corruption crackdown that has ensnared scores of high-ranking officials, including Dinh La Thang, a former member of the Communist Party’s decision-making Politburo, who headed PetroVietnam from 2005 to 2011.

Le Dinh Mau, the chief accountant of PetroVietnam, has been arrested for “violating state regulations on economic management causing serious consequences”, the Ministry of Public Security said on Tuesday, without specifying when exactly the arrest took place.

Mau’s arrest and prosecution are part of an investigation into nearly $150 million in losses accumulated at PetroVietnam Construction JSC (PVC). Four former executives of the firm were arrested last year. Its former chairman, Trinh Xuan Thanh, “turned himself in” last month after a 10-month international manhunt. Thanh had been seeking political asylum in Germany.

Mau’s wrongdoings were directly linked to the budget allocation for a thermal power plant project in northern Vietnam, according to police. He was appointed chief accountant of PetroVietnam in July 2014. The police also said on Tuesday that three other officials have also been arrested for their involvement in the case.

Mau's predecessor, Ninh Van Quynh, was among the four PetroVietnam officials who were also prosecuted earlier this month over allegations of economic mismanagement linked to investment losses at the besieged OceanBank.

Quynh was PetroVietnam’s chief accountant from 2008 to 2014, during which time the recently ousted Politburo member Dinh La Thang was at the helm. Quynh was the group’s vice general director when he was arrested.

Vietnam’s anti-corruption campaign, spearheaded by Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong, is focusing on the much-cosseted public sector. Trong said in July that the fight against corruption is no longer being handled slowly and on a case-by case basis.

"It has become a movement," he said.

 
 
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