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Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Former deputy foreign minister accused of taking VND21.5-billion in bribes

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – To Anh Dung, former deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, has been charged with accepting VND21.5 billion in bribes from the businesses he handpicked to join the Covid-19 repatriation flight plan.

Dung, 58, was in charge of approving the flights that brought Vietnamese nationals back home from abroad during the height of the pandemic.

Between December 2020 and January 2022, Dung took money from local firms 37 times, totaling VND14.1 billion and US$320,000, and in return, he introduced these companies to the so-called “combo” flight plans, according to the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).

These chartered flights were a paid service that was arranged for individuals who could afford to pay for their own in the pandemic.

Dung was detained in April 2022. He reportedly returned VND2 billion for restitution.

In addition to Dung, Vu Hong Nam, 59, former deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, has been accused of accepting bribes totaling VND1.8 billion in the same case. He was a former Vietnamese ambassador to Japan.

Nam, who was arrested last December, returned the amount of money he earlier took.

The findings are part of the investigation results published recently by the MPS’ Bureau of Investigation Security.

The probe, which began in January 2022, has looked into the violations found over the repatriation flights handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consular Department, the provincial administrations of Hanoi and other provinces and cities.

The bureau submitted the files of 54 suspects to the People’s Supreme Procuracy for indictment on charges of bribe brokering, giving and taking, abuse of power while on duty and asset misappropriation.

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