|Nguyễn Thị Tường Vi, Director of ATA Vietnam Consulting and Investment Co. Ltd. (left) and Nguyễn Thị Dung Hạnh, Director of G Vietnam 19 Co. Ltd., were detained for alleged involvement in the bribery case occuring at the foreign ministry. — Photo from the police
HÀ NỘI — Police have charged two company directors for “giving bribes”, the latest move in the investigation of a case of “giving and receiving bribery" involving the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The accused are Nguyễn Thị Tường Vi, Director of ATA Vietnam Consulting and Investment Co. Ltd., and Nguyễn Thị Dung Hạnh, Director of G Vietnam 19 Co. Ltd., both based in Hà Nội.
The Investigation Security Agency under the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) has detained the suspects and searched their houses and workplaces.
The MPS launched its probe after there were reports that some officials at the Consular Department sought illegal profits from licensing companies operating flights to repatriate Vietnamese citizens from abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic when border closures made it hard for commercial flights to be available like before.
In late January, four officials at the Consular Department have been accused of “accepting bribes”, namely Nguyễn Thị Hương Lan (born in 1974, director of the department), Đỗ Hoàng Tùng (born in 1980, deputy director of the department), Lê Tuấn Anh (born in 1982, chief of the department’s office), and Lưu Tuấn Dũng (born in 1987, deputy head of the department’s citizen protection division).
Deputy foreign minister Tô Anh Dũng has also been arrested in mid-April for suspected involvement in the case.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic from early 2020 to before the border reopening in 2022, more than 1,000 special repatriation flights have been carried out to bring 240,000 Vietnamese citizens from 60 countries and territories back home, though the flights have been frequently questioned over its opaque eligibility process and costly prices. — VNS