Monday , February 6 2023

Deputy Hanoi chairman arrested in pandemic flight bribery scandal

Hanoi’s deputy chairman Chu Xuan Dung has been arrested over allegations of receiving bribes in organizing Covid-19 repatriation flights.

Vu Hong Nam, former Vietnamese ambassador in Japan, was also arrested to be investigated for the same allegations, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security To An Xo said Thursday.

Pham Bich Hang, director of a company in Hanoi, has been arrested to be investigated for giving bribes, Xo added.

Dung, 49, had spent years working in the field of education. He became deputy chairman of the Hanoi’s People Committee in December 2020, after three years working as director of the city’s Department of Education and Training.

Nam, 59, is a veteran diplomat with 34 years working in external relations. He used to be the office head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, before becoming the deputy foreign affairs minister.

The arrests are the latest in an investigation regarding a Covid-19 repatriation flight bribery scandal, which has resulted in over 35 people from multiple ministries being arrested, including high-ranking officials like former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung.

Vietnam had operated around 400 repatriation flights to bring home residents stranded overseas during the global Covid outbreaks.

The Ministry of Public Security said in June that each repatriation flight earned profits of several billion Vietnamese dong (VND1 billion = $43,600) after deducting costs.

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