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In Vietnam, police indict former provincial healthcare chief for ‘irresponsibility’

Friday, July 12, 2019, 21:38 GMT+7
In Vietnam, police indict former provincial healthcare chief for ‘irresponsibility’
Huynh Quoc Viet, former director of the Department of Health in Ca Mau Province, located in southern Vietnam. Photo: Ngoc Thu / Tuoi Tre

Vietnamese police have started probing a former healthcare official for his involvement in two of his staff members’ embezzlement of tens of thousands of U.S. dollars in tuition.  

Police said on Friday that they had charged Huynh Quoc Viet, ex-director of the Department of Health in Ca Mau Province, with “irresponsibility causing serious consequences.”

He is out on bail, police officers added.

Viet was indicted for letting two former staff members, a treasurer and an accountant, embezzle VND12 billion (US$517,000) in tuition fees from medical students from Ca Mau who have been studying at the Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy, located in the Mekong Delta region.

The ex-director had been warned by the Party Committee and People’s Committee in Ca Mau, which is the southernmost province of Vietnam.

In 2011 Ca Mau authorities sent 252 students to study at the Can Tho University of Medicine and Pharmacy in order to solve understaffing problems in their healthcare system, according to a police investigation

The students paid tuition fees via the Ca Mau Department of Health.

Do Thanh Chuong, an accountant, and Phan Ngoc Tram, a treasurer, were tasked with collecting the tuition and submitting it to the university.

The two only transferred part of the fees to the university, embezzling over VND12 billion in total, from the 2013-14 academic year onward.

Chuong and Tram were suspended from work in October 2017 and then arrested on charges of abusing powers to appropriate property.

The Ca Mau administration announced in December 2017 that Viet had not been reappointed to his position because of his wrongdoing.

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