Vietnam to expand investigation in major corruption cases: Party chief

By Lan Ha   April 28, 2018 | 01:59 pm GMT+7
Vietnam to expand investigation in major corruption cases: Party chief
State-owned telecom firm MobiFone is under scrutiny for the purchase of a private pay TV firm. Photo by VnExpress

MobiFone's pay TV acquisition and a $420 million online gambling ring are under the spotlight.

Vietnam's anti-corruption authorities will be expanding investigation and bringing major cases involving big tycoons and former high-rank officials to court in the near future, said the country's Party leader.

The Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who chairs the Central Steering Committee on Anti-Corruption, pledged to push the sweeping corruption crackdown forward at a committee's meeting on Friday.

Regarding telecommunications giant MobiFone's deal to acquire private pay TV firm AVG, Trong said the Party and the government is determined to prevent and fight corruption without exception.

In early 2016, state-owned MobiFone captured public attention by announcing it was breaking into the pay TV market through the acquisition of a 95 percent stake in AVG, without revealing any information about the deal. The government inspectors said in March that the acquisition violated the investment law and caused a loss of over $310 million to the state.

The committee has agreed to put the handling of this case under its watch following the meeting.

Discussing investigation into an online gambling ring busted by police in the northern province of Phu Tho, Trong instructed relevant authorities to bring the case to court in time and proceed to the second phase of investigation.

The first phase has led to dozens of arrests including two major tech businessmen who allegedly ran the $420 million gambling ring and two former high-ranking police officials accused of protecting it.

Trong, 74, also urged forces to expand investigation into power abuse violations at a company owned by the Ministry of National Defense, Dong A Bank, the Petroleum Institute, shipbuilding giant Vinashin and textile firm PVTex.

The investigation into violations at Dong A Bank, which had allegedly caused losses worth nearly VND3.5 trillion ($153.8 million), has netted the bank's former CEO as well as a property tycoon in Da Nang. The investigation into violations at Vinashin and state-owned oil giant PetroVietnam's Petroleum Institute is a follow-up of the banking graft case at Oceanbank, in which the bank's former head was sentenced to life and a PetroVietnam's former chief to death.

Violations at PVTex, a joint venture of PetroVietnam and textile giant Vinatex, resulted in $61 million losses and police have issued a warrant for the arrest of the firm's CEO, who had allegedly left the country.

 
 
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