|42-year-old Nguyễn Tiến Thân. — Photo from the Ministry of Public Security|
HÀ NỘI — The Investigation Security Agency on August 18 arrested Nguyễn Tiến Thân, a specialist at the Government Office’s Department of International Relations, to investigate the act of “taking bribes” in line with Article 354 of the Penal Code.
The same day, the agency launched criminal proceedings against Thân, born in 1980, and issued a warrant to search his residence and workplace.
The arrest is connected to the case of “giving and taking bribes” at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Consular Department in Hà Nội and other provinces and cities.
The case revolves around the limited number of commercial ‘repatriation flights’ allowed into Việt Nam during the stringent border closures in 2020-21 due to COVID-19.
Many have complained about the lack of transparency, exorbitant ticket prices, selection process and complicated procedures.
Further investigation is underway.
Previously, the Investigation Security Agency had prosecuted 16 other defendants, including Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tô Anh Dũng. Initial investigation results indicated that the accused received tens of billions of đồng and hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribery.
At the end of January, the Ministry of Public Security prosecuted director of the Consular Department Nguyễn Thị Hương Lan, deputy director of the department Đỗ Hoàng Tùng, chief of the department's office Lê Tuấn Anh, and deputy head of the Department of Citizen Protection Lưu Tuấn Dũng.
On July 25, six more were arrested in connection with the case.
Trần Văn Dự, 61, former Deputy Director of the Immigration Department at the Ministry of Public Security, was among six people arrested as investigations into the repatriation flight scandal were expanded, said Lt. Gen. Tô Ân Xô, Chief of the Office and Spokesman of the Ministry of Public Security.
Nguyễn Mai Anh, 46, an international relations specialist at the Government Office; Ngô Quang Tuấn, 38, an international relations specialist at the Ministry of Transport; and Vũ Sỹ Cường, 36, a former immigration officer at the Ministry of Public Security, also face charges of taking bribes.
Bùi Huy Hoàng, 34, an official at the Ministry of Health, was arrested on fraud charges, and Nguyễn Tiến Mạnh, 52, head of a travel agency, was arrested for giving bribes. — VNS