Each repatriation flight organized during the Covid-19 pandemic earned profits of several billion Vietnamese dong (VND1 billion = $43,600) after deducting costs, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
To An Xo, spokesman of the ministry, said at a government press meet Saturday Vietnam had operated around 2,000 repatriation flights to bring home residents stranded overseas.
But many officials and business leaders had taken advantage of the policy to earn money, Xo said.
They had abused their power to commit bribery, he said.
Many people had to buy very expensive tickets and complete tortuous procedures to get a seat on repatriation flights.
A series of officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and tourism firm directors have been arrested for their involvement in bribery while organizing these flights.
In January, General Director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ consular department, Nguyen Thi Huong Lan, and three other ministry officials were arrested over allegations of accepting bribes.
In March, Nguyen Dieu Mo, general director of An Binh Air Services and Tourism Trading Co. Ltd in Hanoi, was arrested for allegedly paying bribes.
One month later, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung was arrested for taking bribes.
Last month, two heads of travel firms in Hanoi were also detained for giving bribes.
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