Tuesday , December 12 2023

No ‘restricted area’ in corruption fight, breakthroughs achieved: Party chief

Vietnam’s fight against corruption is stronger than ever, with many breakthroughs recorded in the strict implementation of laws, Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong said Wednesday.

The recent punishments meted out to Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long and former Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh for their violations in what is known as the Viet A test kit scandal showcases the determination and urgency of anti-corruption officials in dealing with the wrongdoings, he said at the 22nd session of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption and Negative Action.

It also shows that there is no exception and no “restricted area” when it comes to fighting corruption, he added.

Another example was the disciplining of three current and former leaders of the Government Inspectorate and the State Audit Office for violations, Trong said, calling it a new step in controlling state power.

“This is a breakthrough: we are fighting corruption within the anti-corruption agencies.”

The Steering Committee has succeeded in advising the Party Central Committee, the Politburo and the Secretariat to implement many major policies in the fight against corruption, Trong said.

The successful organization of the national conference summarizing the fight against corruption and negativity will create new motivation and determination among officials.

The establishment of Provincial Steering Committees shows the determination of the Party Central Committee to step up the fight against corruption, he noted.

Trong also said there was streamlined cooperation between government bodies in anti-corruption actions, and conversations have been ongoing between judicial authorities to discuss and determine punishment, he said.

The result is that tens of thousands of trillion VND worth of asset have been collected annually by the anti-corruption campaign, he added.

Trong asked government bodies to quickly complete draft regulations on controlling power for anti-corruption purposes.

He also wanted the following five major cases dealt with quickly: bribery in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Consular Department; stock manipulation by real estate developer FLC; bond issuance fraud by real estate developer Tan Hoang Minh; the test kit scandal at Viet A; and violations in purchasing health equipment by Advanced International Jsc.

Phan Quoc Viet, general director of Viet A, admitted in January that he had inflated the price of a Covid-19 test kit by 45 percent and sent around VND800 billion ($35.2 million) as “bonuses” to company partners. Viet said he had bribed certain individuals in this regard.

Several officials including high-ranking military generals and directors of provincial branches of the Center for Diseases Control have been arrested or placed under criminal investigation for their involvement in the case.

Chu Ngoc Anh and Nguyen Thanh Long were arrested in June due to their involvement in the scam.

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