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Breakthroughs needed in corrupt asset valuation and recovery: Party chief

Update: January, 21/2022 - 06:00

 

General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng (standing) delivering a speech at the conclusion of the 21st session of the Central Steering Committee on Anti-corruption on Thursday in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo Trí Dũng

HÀ NỘI — Party General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng urged breakthrough changes in corrupt asset evaluation and recovery in 2022, as he chaired the 21st meeting of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption on Thursday in Hà Nội.

The meeting was held to review the anti-corruption efforts in 2021 and deliberate tasks for 2022.

Trọng, who also serves as the head of the committee, said despite the COVID-19 outbreak in 2021 and many shifts in the membership of the committee, thanks to the outstanding endeavours of everyone and the smooth coordination with local Party committees and State agencies, most works in the stated agenda of the committee have been followed through on time.

The committee has effectively instructed inspection, auditing and legal proceedings of corruption cases, and attached the fight against corruption with the fight against lifestyle vices and moral failings among the Party ranks.

The anti-corruption fight was emboldened and has attained many great results, consolidating the Party and the State’s commitment to root out corruption and earn public trust even in the middle of the intense pandemic fight.

Many robust and breakthrough policies and solutions on Party building and rectification, as well as anti-corruption, have been developed, promulgated and implemented drastically, creating a strong start right from the first year of implementing the Resolution of the 13th National Party Congress earlier in 2021.

In 2021, 618 Party officials were disciplined by local Party committees and inspection commissions for corruption and deliberate wrongdoings, up 132 compared to 2020, while the Politburo and the Party Secretariat doled out disciplinary measures to 32 high-ranking Party officials under their management, up 15 compared to 2020.

Inspection and auditing authorities have proposed recovering VNĐ81.29 trillion (US$3.6 billion) and 811ha of land implicated in corruption cases, and proposed administrative actions against 2,286 organisations and 6,132 individuals. The thematic agenda on inspecting the use of health insurance funds, procurement of medical equipment and supplies, and medicine and drug bidding; the observance of the law in the management and use of land in three major groups and corporations.

The capacity of discovering wrongdoings among local Party committees have shown improvements, with 330 cases deemed to have ‘criminal elements’ – three times that of 2020 – and forwarded to investigation authorities.

In 2021, 390 corruption and abuse of power cases with 1,011 defendants were brought to trial, including the commencement of legal proceedings of many high-profile cases that involved high-ranking officials – incumbent or retired - as well as general-level officers in the armed forces.

Since 2013, asset recovery of the major corruption cases that were included in the Steering Committee’s special supervision list has obtained VNĐ31 trillion (33 per cent of the total corrupt assets’ value), while 2021 alone has recovered VNĐ9 trillion, up by nearly VNĐ7.1 trillion compared to 2020.

The Party chief also stressed the importance of handling corruption right within the anti-corruption agencies. The functional agencies in the Public Security and the Army disciplined 98 officers and soldiers; the Courts, Procuracies, Inspectorates and Auditing agencies have disciplined 50 officials and civil servants who have committed violations, vices; while the investigative agency of the Supreme People's Procuracy has prosecuted and investigated 26 cases with 32 defendants for crimes of corruption, abuse of positions, and negative incidents occurring in judicial activities.

He urged relevant authorities to not rest on their laurels and work even harder in 2022, strictly handling all corrupt officials – no matter who that might be - as well as promptly rewarding those with achievements and contributions to the corruption fight.

The Party chief noted the need to improve the institutions and checks-and-balances mechanisms to prevent corruption from taking place in the first place, especially in sensitive areas like bidding, management of land and public assets. — VNS

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