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Chief of Hanoi Party Committee Office arrested for alleged ties to crimes of local mobile phone seller

Saturday, December 28, 2019, 19:00 GMT+7
Chief of Hanoi Party Committee Office arrested for alleged ties to crimes of local mobile phone seller
Nguyen Van Tu (L), chief of the Hanoi Party Committee Office and former director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, and Pham Thi Thu Huong, chief of the Hanoi Department of Planning and Investment Office. Photo: Ministry of Public Security

Nguyen Van Tu, chief of the Hanoi Party Committee Office and former director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, has been arrested for his alleged involvement in the crimes of Nhat Cuong Mobile, a technology firm and major mobile phone seller in the Vietnamese capital city.

Tu was apprehended for “violating regulations on bidding that led to serious consequences,” the investigative unit of the Ministry of Public Security said on Saturday.

The agency searched Tu's residence on Mo Lao Street in Hanoi’s Ha Dong District on the same afternoon after an arrest warrant was approved by the Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam.

Tu was not present during the home search.

Investigators said they confiscated documents related to the Nhat Cuong case from Tu’s house for further investigation.

Police officers arrive at the residence of Nguyen Van Tu, Chief of Hanoi Party Committee Office and former director of the municipal department of planning and investment, in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, on December 28, 2019. Photo: Than Hoang / Tuoi Tre

Police officers arrive at the residence of Nguyen Van Tu, chief of the Hanoi Party Committee Office and former director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, on December 28, 2019. Photo: Than Hoang / Tuoi Tre

Pham Thi Thu Huong, chief of the Hanoi Department of Planning and Investment Office, was also arrested and had her house searched for the same alleged violation.

The arrests are the latest development of an expanded investigation into activities at Nhat Cuong Trading and Technical Service Co., Ltd that also involve Hanoi's Department of Planning and Investment and relevant units.

Crimes including smuggling, violating regulations on accounting, money laundering, and violating regulations on bidding are being investigated.

Earlier, two other leaders at the municipal planning and investment department had also been apprehended.

Police officers arrive at the residence of Nguyen Van Tu, Chief of Hanoi Party Committee Office and former director of the municipal department of planning and investment, in Ha Dong District, Hanoi, on December 28, 2019. Photo: Than Hoang / Tuoi Tre

Police officers arrive at the residence of Nguyen Van Tu, chief of the Hanoi Party Committee Office and former director of the municipal Department of Planning and Investment, in Ha Dong District, Hanoi on December 28, 2019. Photo: Than Hoang / Tuoi Tre

In May this year, officers under the Ministry of Public Security arrested and initiated legal proceedings against Bui Quang Huy, general director of Nhat Cuong Mobile, and his eight accessories for “smuggling” and “violating financial accounting regulations, resulting in serious consequences.”

Preliminary information showed that Huy and the other suspects had established an organized transnational smuggling ring, and created two financial accounting systems to pocket trillions of Vietnamese dong (VND1 trillion = US$43 million).

In July, the investigation agency under the Ministry of Public Security added a criminal charge and launched another legal proceeding against Huy for money laundering.

Since 2001, Nhat Cuong Mobile had opened nine mobile phone retail stores on major streets in Hanoi until its shutdown in May.

It also operated the largest warranty center in northern Vietnam and an ERP (enterprise resources planning) center in Ho Chi Minh City. 

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