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Former health minister charged with bribe taking in Viet A case

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Former Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long has been charged with taking US$2.25 million in bribes in exchange for Viet A Technology Corporation’s acquisition of temporary and official circulation registration codes for Covid test kits.

The Supreme People’s Procuracy of Vietnam today, September 30, filed charges against Nguyen Thanh Long and 37 other defendants in the case of Viet A’s Covid-19 test kit price gouging.

Long and five other individuals are facing charges of taking bribes, including Nguyen Huynh, former secretary of Long; Nguyen Minh Tuan, former head of the ministry’s Department of Health Equipment and Works; Nguyen Nam Lien, former head of the ministry’s Financial Planning Department; Pham Duy Tuyen, former director of Hai Duong Province CDC; and Trinh Thanh Hung, former deputy head of the Department of Science and Technology under the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Pham Xuan Thang, former Secretary of the Hai Duong Province Party Committee, is charged with abusing his authority while performing official duties.

Viet A chairman and CEO Phan Quoc Viet and his deputy Vu Dinh Hiep are charged with violating bidding regulations resulting in serious consequences and giving bribes. His two other subordinates, Phan Ton Noel Thao and Ho Thi Thanh Thao, are charged with giving bribes.

The remaining 27 individuals are charged with violating bidding regulations resulting in serious consequences, abusing their authority while performing official duties, and abusing their connections with officials for personal gains.

Phan Quoc Viet allegedly offered high-ranking officials up to VND106 billion in bribes to join a major test kit research project during the Covid outbreak, obtain licenses for test kit circulation, and manipulate test kit prices.

Former Minister Long received US$2.25 million (about VND51 billion), while his secretary purportedly took VND4 billion in bribes from Viet.

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