Vietnam’s Communist Party wants ‘absolute, direct’ control over police

By Xuan Hoa   January 15, 2018 | 10:46 pm PT
Vietnam’s Communist Party wants ‘absolute, direct’ control over police
Vietnamese policemen stand guard outside the court in Hanoi, where 22 former PetroVietnam executives are on trial, on January 9. Photo by Reuters/Kham
Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong praised the force for solving major corruption cases and bringing powerful people to justice.

The leader of Vietnam’s ruling Communist Party and the man behind the country’s sweeping corruption crackdown attended a meeting with police forces on Monday to consolidate his leadership and call for stronger efforts.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong was the guest of honor at the Ministry of Public Security's year-end national conference, where he delivered a speech.

Trong said the police had done a good job in 2017 of containing crime and investigating major corruption cases, adding that the fight should be as tough and strong in 2018.

“Our main mission is to secure the direct and absolute leadership of the Party over the police force,” said Trong, who joined the seven-strong Party Standing Committee of the People’s Public Security Force, the core of Vietnam’s police, in 2015.

The 73-year-old leader also asked the police to prevent political apathy and tighten discipline within the force.

Vietnam started its mission to stamp out corruption many years ago, but it has been forging ahead “stronger than ever” in recent times, Trong said.

Corruption cases dating back years have been dealt with, winning widespread public attention and support, he said.

He added that the police had helped investigate and prosecute hundreds of people for corruption, including high-ranking officials and powerful Party members.

The biggest casualty so far is former Politburo member Dinh La Thang, who has been charged with mismanagement when he was board chairman of the state oil giant PetroVietnam between 2006 and 2011.

Thang and 21 other former PetroVietnam execs are in the dock including runaway bigwig Trinh Xuan Thanh, who police said turned himself in last August after fleeing to Europe.

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