Vietnam arrests former deputy labor minister for alleged insurance violations

By Ba Do   November 9, 2018 | 06:05 pm PT
A former deputy labor minister and three former senior officials of Vietnam Social Security were arrested Friday on allegations of economic mismanagement.
Le Bach Hong, a former Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs. Photo acquired by VnExpress

Le Bach Hong, former Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs. Photo by VnExpress/File

Le Bach Hong, former Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs and former General Director of Vietnam Social Security (VSS), is accused of "deliberate violations of state economic management regulations, causing serious consequences."

The other three former officials are Nguyen Huy Ban, former General Director of VSS, and Tran Tien Vy and Hoang Ha, two former chiefs of its finance and planning department. They are under arrest on the same charge.

Their arrests are part an effort to widen investigations into wrongdoing at Vietnam Social Security, which runs social insurance operations, and at a bankrupt state-owned finance leasing firm, the Agribank Financial Leasing Company No 2 (ALC II), according the Ministry of Public Security.

Le Bach Hong was Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs between 2005 and 2008.

In late 2008, he was resigned to work as general director of VSI. He retired in 2014.

The Central Inspection Commission, the Party's watchdog, said Hong had made violations in financial reports at the insurance agency, and failed to review on wrongful lending at the unit. Investigation found VSI had lended ALC II VND1.05 trillion ($45 million), including unsecure sums, while it was only allowed to lend money to state-run commercial banks.

When ALC II was declared bankrupt in December 2016, it still owed the insurance agency nearly VND770 billion, besides interest.

The Ministry of Public Security said it was carrying out further investigations to retrieve state assets that had been lost.

The arrests came amid a corruption crackdown that has seen scores of senior government officials and executives of state-owned enterprises arrested and jailed in recent years.

Party Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who spearheads the corruption fight, was sworn in as Vietnam's president last month, prompting experts' speculations that he will push the campaign to a new level.

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