Wednesday , February 8 2023

Medical corruption: Former Dong Nai officials to stand trial for taking $1.77 mln bribes

The trial of former top officials of the southern Dong Nai Province and ex chairwoman of the AIC real estate company in a major medical bribery case will start December 21.

Tran Dinh Thanh, former Party Secretary of the province, and Dinh Quoc Thai, its former chairman, are accused of receiving bribes, while former director of the Dong Nai Department of Health, Phan Huy Anh Vu, is charged with receiving bribes and committing bidding violations. The indictment said they received a total of VND43.8 billion (US$1.77 million) over many years.

Absconding former president of AIC, Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan, 53, is accused of giving bribes and committing bidding violations. She will be tried in absentia.

32 other people are charged with abuse of power, bidding violations and negligence.

The indictment says that Nhan cultivated a relationship with Thanh in order to meet with other Dong Nai officials, hoping her AIC company would win 16 bidding packages to provide medical equipment for the Dong Nai General Hospital project which was under construction between 2008 and 2015.

Nhan directly gave Thanh money totaling VND14.5 billion ($585,385). She and her subordinates also gave Thai VND14.5 billion and Vu VND14.8 billion to “smoothen” the process.

Following all the preparatory stages, Vu signed documents to approve cost estimates of the bidding packages in accordance with prices agreed beforehand by AIC and other evaluation entities.

The indictment says that corruption in the deal caused the state a loss of VND150 billion.

The trial date was set by the Hanoi People’s Court. It is expected to last 20 days, including weekends. Five prosecutors and over 30 lawyers will participate in the trial. 81 people and entities will be summoned by the court, including the Dong Nai People’s Committee, the Dong Nai General Hospital and the Dong Nai Department of Planning and Investment.

The act of giving bribes is punishable by up to 20 years in Vietnam, while accepting bribes is punishable between 20 years and death.

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