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Vietnamese official held for illegal COVID-19 vaccination arrangement for money

Vietnamese official held for illegal COVID-19 vaccination arrangement for money

Tuesday, September 07, 2021, 20:01 GMT+7
Vietnamese official held for illegal COVID-19 vaccination arrangement for money
Truong Manh Thao, an official at the People’s Committee of Ward 2, District 6, Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Police in Ho Chi Minh City have arrested a civil servant for making money by illegally arranging for a score of people to get coronavirus vaccination.

Truong Manh Thao, an official at the People’s Committee of Ward 2 in District 6, was detained and indicted on Monday on charges of “abusing positions and powers while performing duties,” under Vietnam’s Penal Code, the district police reported.

The 37-year-old man had arranged for nearly 20 people who are not local residents to receive inoculation in the ward, earning more than VND10 million (US$440) and some valuable artifacts from them, police officers said.

Vaccination against COVID-19 is free for all, according to the Vietnamese government's policy.

Among Thao’s clients were five individuals he was spotted welcoming to an inoculation site of the ward and guiding them through the inoculation process on August 12, according to an exposé Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper ran in August.

He also asked each customer to declare their address as 41 Le Quang Sung Street, a location with several food and hairdressing kiosks in the ward. 

Thao assured these people that their vaccination information would be updated in Ho Chi Minh City's official database.

The man had committed the offense for over four months before his arrest, investigators said.

A similar case happened in the city last month when 32-year-old Le Thi Kim Dung, a resident of District 4, was prosecuted on August 21 for her “abuse of influence over an office holder for personal gain.”

Dung had abused her personal relationships to illegally arrange and provide COVID-19 vaccination in District 11 for anyone at a price of up to VND4 million ($175) per dose.

The woman had posted her vaccination offers on Facebook and received a total payment of VND60 million ($2,630) from 21 clients.

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Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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