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Vietnam’s top consular officials held in bribery probe

Vietnam’s top consular officials held in bribery probe

Saturday, January 29, 2022, 13:19 GMT+7
Vietnam’s top consular officials held in bribery probe
This supplied image shows (from left) Nguyen Thi Huong Lan, director of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consular Department, her deputy Do Hoang Tung, and two other consular officials, who have been arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes.

The head of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consular Department and her three subordinates have been arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes related to the organization of repatriation flights during the COVID-19 pandemic, local police reported.

The detainees included 48-year-old Nguyen Thi Huong Lan, director of the department; her deputy Do Hoang Tung, 42; Le Tuan Anh, 40, chief of staff of the department; and Luu Tuan Dung, 35, deputy head of the department’s Citizen Protection Bureau, Lieutenant General To An Xo, chief of staff and spokesman of the Ministry of Public Security, announced on Friday.

These officials are suspected of seeking personal gain in licensing some companies to organize flights to bring Vietnamese back home from abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Ministry of Public Security Portal.

The home and office search warrants were also served on the four officials, who have been prosecuted on charges of ‘taking bribes’ as prescribed in the Vietnamese Penal Code, Lieutenant General Xo stated.

During the pandemic that hit the country since early 2020, concerned agencies have organized nearly 800 flights to bring home more than 200,000 citizens from more than 60 countries and territories, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

In response to recent complaints from the public that the ticket fares of such humanitarian flights are much higher than usual, many airlines have confirmed that they do not place emphasis on profits and that such expensive ticket prices are driven by other costs.

At a press conference held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 20, media reporters sought to clarify the reason why passengers on these flights had to pay large sums of money and underwent difficult procedures.

Some journalists also cast doubt on signs of self-interest in conducting such flights.

The ministry’s spokesperson replied that the sending of Vietnamese citizens back home at their wishes during the COVID-19 outbreak reflected the humanitarian policy of the Party and the government in the context that the country was facing great difficulties caused by the pandemic.

“Any negative acts of profiteering and changing the humanitarian nature of repatriation flights should be condemned and strictly punished by law,” the spokesperson said.

The Ministry of Public Security is expanding its investigation into the case.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

The head of the Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consular Department and her three subordinates have been arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes related to the organization of repatriation flights during the COVID-19 pandemic, local police reported.

The detainees included 48-year-old Nguyen Thi Huong Lan, director of the department; her deputy Do Hoang Tung, 42; Le Tuan Anh, 40, chief of staff of the department; and Luu Tuan Dung, 35, deputy head of the department’s Citizen Protection Bureau, Lieutenant General To An Xo, chief of staff and spokesman of the Ministry of Public Security, announced on Friday.

These officials are suspected of seeking personal gain in licensing some companies to organize flights to bring Vietnamese back home from abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Ministry of Public Security Portal.

The home and office search warrants were also served on the four officials, who have been prosecuted on charges of ‘taking bribes’ as prescribed in the Vietnamese Penal Code, Lieutenant General Xo stated.

During the pandemic that hit the country since early 2020, concerned agencies have organized nearly 800 flights to bring home more than 200,000 citizens from more than 60 countries and territories, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

In response to recent complaints from the public that the ticket fares of such humanitarian flights are much higher than usual, many airlines have confirmed that they do not place emphasis on profits and that such expensive ticket prices are driven by other costs.

At a press conference held by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 20, media reporters sought to clarify the reason why passengers on these flights had to pay large sums of money and underwent difficult procedures.

Some journalists also cast doubt on signs of self-interest in conducting such flights.

The ministry’s spokesperson replied that the sending of Vietnamese citizens back home at their wishes during the COVID-19 outbreak reflected the humanitarian policy of the Party and the government in the context that the country was facing great difficulties caused by the pandemic.

“Any negative acts of profiteering and changing the humanitarian nature of repatriation flights should be condemned and strictly punished by law,” the spokesperson said.

The Ministry of Public Security is expanding its investigation into the case.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter to get the latest news about Vietnam!

Vinh Tho / Tuoi Tre News

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