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Vietnam institute denies taking bribes in Bio-Rad case

Vietnam institute denies taking bribes in Bio-Rad case

Thursday, November 13, 2014, 16:45 GMT+7

A Hanoi medical institute has said its staff did not receive any kickback from Bio Rad Laboratories Inc. (Bio-Rad) after U.S. authoriries concluded the American firm bribed Vietnamese health officials in return for medical supply contracts in 2005-2009.

>> Vietnam sets up working team to probe alleged Bio-Rad-related bribery

Nguyen Anh Tri, director of the Central Institute of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, which is among Vietnam’s health facilities having purchased medical products from Bio-Rad, told the media on Wednesday that “the institute did not receive any commissions from Bio-Rad in purchasing products from the firm.”

Tri made the confirmation several days after the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security, at the request by the Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, launched an investigation into the said case.

Minister Tien called for the investigation after the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on November 3 concluded that Bio-Rad, a global provider of life science research and clinical diagnostic products, had paid $7.5 million in bribes to officials in Vietnam, Thailand and Russia in return for medical supply contracts in these countries.

The bribes paid by Bio-Rad in Vietnam from 2005 to 2009 totaled $2.2 million, according to U.S. media.

Tri told reporters that in the 2000-2004 period, the institute spent VND110 billion (US$5.17 million) in total on buying chemicals, equipment and biological products bearing the Bio-Rad brand.

However, the institute did not purchase the above goods directly from Bio-Rad but through more then 10 Vietnamese companies.

In the period before 2010, the institute organized many international bids for medicinal procurement, but Bio-Rad did not take part in these bids.     When asked why the institute did not buy such products from other foreign firms, Tri said, “Our institute has bought equipment for blood screening made by Bio-Rad as it has the highest quality compared to similar products.” He also said the institute has organized bids in accordance with prevailing regulations. “Over the past ten years, the institute has received 13 audit groups and three inspection teams from the Ministries of Health, Finance and Construction, and all of these teams concluded that our institute has committed no wrongdoings.” “I have asked each of the employees who are related to the purchases of products from Bio-Rad and all of them affirm that they have not received any commission from Bio-Rad.” On November 5, chief health inspector Chinh asked all local departments of health and hospitals under the ministry’s management to report by November 15 on the purchases of equipment, chemicals and biological products from Bio-Rad from January 1, 2005 to November 5, 2014. So far, 10 hospitals and 11 medical companies have sent their reports to the ministry. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

>> Vietnam sets up working team to probe alleged Bio-Rad-related bribery >> Vietnam probing alleged $2.2mn in healthcare graft related to US’s Bio-Rad>> Ministry asks police to launch investigation on Bio-Rad bribery case in Vietnam

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