Vietnam to put corrupt top ex officials in the dock

By Viet Tuan   May 21, 2019 | 07:08 am PT
Vietnam to put corrupt top ex officials in the dock
Many trials regarding bribery and mismanagement of state assets are scheduled to be held in Vietnam this year. Graphics by Pixabay/mohamed_hassan
Intensifying its corruption crackdown, Vietnam will take several former officials to the court from now until year end.

The Central Steering Committee on Anti-Corruption said on Tuesday that by year end, relevant agencies need to finish investigating 28 cases, prosecute 24 cases, bring 29 cases to trial, hear the appealing court of seven cases, aside from verifying 36 other cases.

Among them are eight cases that are treated as "massive" in which many former high-ranking officials are involved.

One of them deals with economic mismanagement and negligence causing serious consequences at Vietnam Social Security, in which its former general director Le Bach Hong, who is also former Deputy Minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs, was arrested last November.

The second case is about mismanagement of public land and state assets causing losses at Hai Thanh Company, which operates under the umbrella of the Vietnam’s Navy.

The third case involves charges of bribery and mismanagement of public investment causing serious consequences at Vietnam’s third largest telecom firm MobiFone. The state-run MobiFone's acquisition of pay TV AVG in 2016 was found to have violated regulations, causing an estimated loss of about VND7 trillion ($307 million) to the state budget. Former former ministers of Information and Communications Nguyen Bac Son and Truong Minh Tuan were arrested in February and have been accused of receiving bribes in the case while Pham Nhat Vu, AVG chairman, was accused of giving bribes.

Other trials will concern violations on investment at PetroVietnam Biofuels Joint Stock Company (PVB), violations of banking regulations at Phuong Nam Bank, violations in management of state assets at Vietnam's largest brewer Sabeco (Saigon Beer Alcohol Beverage Corporation).

There will be two trials over mismanagement of public lands and state asset in the central city of Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh City, whose many top former officials have been arrested the past year.

At a meeting with top officials on Tuesday last week, Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong called for fiercer fighting against corruption, a campaign he has spearheaded since 2017.

"We have to continue the fight against corruption and negativity with the spirit of determination and perseverance, we have to raise the spirit of solidarity and unity at all levels and branches," Trong said at the meeting which was joined by top government and party officials.

Over the past three years, the sweeping corruption crackdown has ensnared scores of high-profile officials, especially in the energy and banking sectors.

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