Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung was expelled from the Party following his arrest over the allegations of receiving bribes during the organization of repatriation flights during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong chaired a meeting of the Party Central Committee’s Secretariat on Tuesday to consider the disciplinary actions against Deputy Minister Dung and Nguyen Quang Linh, assistant to the permanent deputy prime minister.
The Secretariat stated that Dung lacked responsibility and violated the Party's regulations and state's laws in directing and organizing repatriation flights for Vietnamese citizens abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The deputy minister was also investigated and arrested on suspicion of bribery.
Meanwhile, Linh took advantage of his position, compromised working principles, and violated the Party's regulations and the state's laws during the selection of enterprises to organize repatriation flights during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Linh was apprehended later the same day on suspicion of receiving bribes during the organization of repatriation flights.
|Nguyen Quang Linh, assistant to the permanent deputy prime minister, is seen in this photo provided by officers|
The violations of Dung and Linh resulted in serious consequences and adversely affected the reputation of the Party organization.
The Secretariat thus decided to expel both Dung and Linh from the Party.
The arrests of Dung and Linh were part of a wider investigation where officials were accused of taking bribes from Vietnamese citizens abroad who wanted to return to the country when commercial flights were not available during the coronavirus pandemic.
Since the Ministry of Public Security launched an investigation into the case in late January, a score have been prosecuted and detained, including many officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Transport, and former leaders and officials of the Immigration Department.
During a press meeting in June, investigators stated that the bribes were worth tens of billions of dong. (VND10 billion = US$421,100).
Vietnam organized nearly 2,000 repatriation flights during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security.