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Two more detained in Covid repatriation flight scandal

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The police have detained a staff member at the Party Central Committee’s External Relations Commission and the director of a tourism company for their alleged involvement in the Covid repatriation flight scandal.

The latest arrests have sent the total number of people placed into police custody rising to more than 20, with many of them at the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and Transport, and the Immigration Department at the Ministry of Public Security.

Lieutenant General To An Xo, office chief and spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS), was quoted by the local media as saying late last night that Le Thi Ngoc Anh, 38, a staff member at the Guest Houses Division at the Protocol Department at the Party Central Committee’s External Relations Commission, had been charged with fraud and appropriation of assets.

Tao Duc Hiep, 46, director of Vietnam Railways Trade Union Tourist Company Limited, has been charged with giving bribes.

Early this month, the investigative agency of the MPS filed charges against and detained two officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Nguyen Hong Ha, former official at the Vietnamese Consulate General in Osaka, Japan, and Nguyen Le Ngoc Anh, former official at the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia.

The highest-ranking official involved in the scandalous Covid repatriation flights is To Anh Dung, 58, deputy minister of Foreign Affairs, who was charged with taking bribes, and detained.

Other senior officials at the Foreign Ministry who have been detained are Nguyen Thi Huong Lan, head of the Consular Department, Do Hoang Tung, deputy head of the Consular Department, Le Tuan Anh, office chief of the ministry, and Luu Tuan Dung, deputy head of the Citizen Protection Division.

The police said at a news briefing in June that the investigation had found that those detained pocketed dozens of billions of Vietnam dong and hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars while making arrangements for repatriation flights.

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