Vietnam arrests wanted property tycoon deported from Singapore

By Staff reporters   January 4, 2018 | 05:01 pm GMT+7

The fugitive, wanted in Vietnam for revealing state secrets, was escorted to Hanoi after being accused of violating Singapore’s immigration law.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security confirmed that it has arrested Da Nang’s real estate tycoon wanted for revealing state secrets after he was escorted from Singapore to Hanoi on Thursday afternoon.

Phan Van Anh Vu was taken by the ministry’s investigators after his flight from Changi arrived at Noi Bai Airport at 3:37 p.m.

The ministry said Vu “violated Singapore’s Immigration Law and was deported.”

Lines of security agents were seen at the airport minutes before Vu arrived.

The ministry issued a warrant against Vu on December 21, saying he showed signs of committing the crime of “deliberately disclosing State secrets,” which is punishable by up to 15 years in jail in Vietnam. 

No further details regarding the violation have been disclosed.

Vu had not been seen at his house in Da Nang in central Vietnam since December 20, when the authorities searched his house.

Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said on its website on Tuesday that it had arrested Vu on December 28 for immigration violation.

Reports said he was holding two passports and there was suspicion that they carried fake information.

Singapore has close diplomatic and trade ties with Vietnam. Both countries are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) which signed an agreement in November 2004 to provide each other the largest judicial support possible.

Phan Van Anh Vu in a file photo.

Phan Van Anh Vu in a file photo.

Vu, 42, is one of the biggest real estate tycoons in Da Nang. He is the chairman of three major property companies and a shareholder in many other projects in the city, usually considered the third most important in Vietnam after Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

Dozens of Vietnamese officials and business figures have been arrested in a crackdown on corruption that was spearheaded by Vietnam’s Party leader Nguyen Phu Trong.

The crackdown grabbed world headlines last year when former oil executive Trinh Xuan Thanh showed up in Vietnam after fleeing to Europe. Police said he turned himself in. He is set to stand trial next week and faces two death penalties for embezzlement at state-owned PetroVietnam and its subsidiary.

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