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Monday, December 5, 2022

Viet A boss detained for alleged bidding irregularities, price gouging of test kits

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The Ministry of Public Security investigators on December 19 arrested Phan Quoc Viet, founder and general director of Viet A Technology Corporation, and several accomplices for allegedly violating bidding regulations and gouging prices of Covid test kits.

The Viet A boss paid a high commission to leaders of hospitals and provincial centers for disease control after they signed contracts to buy test kits from his company, according to the results of the investigation.

Pham Duy Tuyen, director of the Hai Duong Province Center for Disease Control, and some executives and employees at Viet A are under arrest for allegedly violating bidding regulations, causing serious consequences.

The price of each Covid test kit gouged by Viet A was VND470,000, much higher than its value, the local media reported.

Tuyen allegedly got VND30 billion in kickbacks for five contracts to purchase test kits worth VND151 billion from Viet A.

Viet A provided the centers for disease control and healthcare centers of 62 cities and provinces with Covid test kits, with a total value of some VND4 trillion, according to the investigators.

Bac Ninh Province approved to buy 10,000 PCR test kits from Viet A for the province’s Center for Disease Control at VND470,000 per kit, while Nam Dinh Province bought 13,536 test kits priced at VND509,250 per unit.

Most of the provinces and cities and hospitals nationwide purchased test kits from Viet A at VND470,000 or higher per kit.

Boxes containing test kits supplied by Viet A Technology Corporation – PHOTO: THE MINISTRY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The ministry’s investigators are expanding the probe into the price gouging related to Viet A and suspected collusion between many provincial and municipal centers for disease control and Viet A to get kickbacks.

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