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Three former senior govt officials detained for involvement in test kit case

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Nguyen Thanh Long, Chu Ngoc Anh and Pham Cong Tac, who have been removed from the posts of Minister of Health, chairman of Hanoi City and Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, respectively, have been arrested for their alleged involvement in Viet A Technology Corporation’s price gouging of Covid-19 test kits.

Lieutenant General To An Xo, spokesperson for the Ministry of Public Security, said today, June 7, that Nguyen Thanh Long was charged with abusing his position and power while on duty, the local media reported.

According to investigators, Long violated regulations on the issuance of the temporary and official circulation registration records and price negotiations for Covid test kits, causing serious losses for the State.

Chu Ngoc Anh was accused of violating regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness, while he was serving as minister of Science and Technology.

Anh was found to have infringed regulations on the assignment, management and use of national scientific and technological research on Covid test kits, causing losses and wastefulness for the State.

Pham Cong Tac was arrested for the same charge as Anh.

Today, investigators searched their houses and offices.

Long and Anh were expelled from the Party on June 6. A day later, they were dismissed from the posts of Minister of Health and chairman of Hanoi City, respectively. Long was also removed from his National Assembly seat.

Tac was ousted from the Party on June 4 and the post of Deputy Minister of Science and Technology on June 6.

The trio were found to have committed degradation in political ideology, morality and lifestyle; infringed Party and State regulations; violated the don’ts for Party members and the rules on responsibility for exemplary performance; caused serious consequences and big losses for the State budget; left negative impact on the Covid-19 response effort; caused public concerns; and left a poor impression on the reputation of the Party organizations, and the ministries of Science-Technology and Health.

To date, more than 40 people have been prosecuted for their alleged involvement in Viet A’s price gouging of Covid-19 test kits, including six former officials of the Ministries of Health and Science-Technology and those at the Centers for Disease Control and the Departments of Health of localities.

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