Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Vietnam arrests former ministers for corruption




Vietnam arrests former ministers for corruption

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Truong Minh Tuan (pictured) and Nguyen Bac Son are accused of illegally approving the purchase of private television company Audio Visual Global in 2015 by the state-run telecommunication firm Mobifone. AFP

Vietnam arrests former ministers for corruption

Two former communications ministers were arrested in Vietnam on Saturday for mismanaging public funds over their alleged roles overseeing the purchase of a loss-making TV firm that would have cost the state millions of dollars.

Truong Minh Tuan and Nguyen Bac Son are under investigation for “violation of regulations on the management and use of public capital causing serious consequences”, the Ministry of Public Security said.

Their arrests come amid an unprecedented anti-corruption drive that echoes China’s crackdown on graft.

Dozens of bankers, businessmen and officials have been jailed in Vietnam since 2016 when the campaign took root.

Some observers say the drive is politically motivated.

Tuan and Son are accused of illegally approving the purchase of private television company Audio Visual Global (AVG) in 2015 by the state-run telecommunication firm Mobifone.

AVG and Mobifone did not go through with the purchase in the end but officials said it would have caused $300 million worth of losses in state funds.

Son, who was minister from 2011 to 2016, was accused of signing off on the deal with support from Tuan – his deputy at the time who took over as minister until he was fired in July last year.

The former director general of Mobifone Cao Duy Hai and deputy director general Pham Thi Phuong Anh were both arrested in November and remain under investigation in connection to the AVG case.

Vietnam is one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, but has long been plagued by endemic corruption.

The country’s communist Party chief and President Nguyen Phu Trong has vowed to stamp out graft among party ranks, and several high-profile officials have been jailed under his watch.

Transparency International ranks Vietnam 117 out of 180 countries on its corruption index, behind Thailand and the Philippines.

The communist country will host a summit next week between US president Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un aimed at dismantling Pyongyang’s nuclear programme.

MOST VIEWED

  • Would you like fries with that? US burger chain makes Phnom Penh debut

    California-based The Habit Burger Grill restaurant chain is all set to serve up a delicious array of charbroiled burgers and sides at its newest international location in the centre of Phnom Penh. The Habit is “renowned for its award-winning Charburgers grilled over an open flame,

  • Woman seeks answers after arrest of American partner

    Filipina Lalaine de Guzman, 48, is demanding answers for the detention of her American partner by Cambodian immigration officers after he was arrested at their home almost 90 days ago. She said without an arrest warrant or proffering any criminal charges, Stephen Sidney Greatsinger, 56, is being detained

  • ‘No chance Cambodia booted out of ASEAN’

    A group of former and current Cambodian diplomats on Tuesday fired back at retired Singaporean diplomat Bihalari Kausikan after he proposed that ASEAN dismiss Cambodia and Laos from the bloc. In an open letter, the Cambodian diplomats said Kausikan’s remarks were made from a

  • Phnom Penh underpass opens to ease traffic

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced a temporary opening of the 488m underpass at the Chaom Chao roundabout in Phnom Penh’s Por Sen Chey district, which was recently completed to connect traffic from National Road 4 to Russian Federation Blvd. The move is to reduce

  • Banteay Meanchey flood victims receive aid

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday provided aid to more than 10,000 families affected by flooding in Banteay Meanchey province’s Mongkol Borei district and offered his condolences to the 18 victims who drowned in the province over the past week. He said flooding had occured in

  • PM urges caution as Polish man tests positive for Covid

    The Ministry of Health on Wednesday reported that a 47-year-old Polish man tested positive for Covid-19 after arriving in Cambodia on Monday. There are a total of six Covid-19 patients currently in the country, all of whom are being treated at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital