Former diplomats arrested over repatriation flights bribery scandal

October, 04/2022 - 19:32
Three more people, including two former diplomatic officials, have been arrested for their involvement in a bribery case at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Consular Department, Lieut. Gen. Tô Ân Xô, Chief of the Office and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security, said on Tuesday.
Nguyễn Hồng Hà, former official at the Vietnamese Consulate General in Osaka, Japan. — Photo from the embassy

HÀ NỘI — Three more people, including two former diplomatic officials, have been arrested for their involvement in a bribery case at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Consular Department, Lieut. Gen. Tô Ân Xô, Chief of the Office and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security, said on Tuesday.

Xô said that legal proceedings have been launched against Nguyễn Hồng Hà, 58, a former official at the Vietnamese Consulate General in Osaka, Japan, on the charge of "taking bribes" in line with Article 354 of the Penal Code, and Nguyễn Lê Ngọc Anh, 34, a former official of the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia, for "abusing position and power while performing duties" under Article 356 of the Penal Code.

The third one is Hoàng Anh Kiếm, 44, who is accused of "giving bribes" following Article 365 of the Penal Code. Their private homes were also raided, Xô said.

It is the latest move by the Ministry of Public Security’s Investigation Security Agency as part of the ongoing probe into the case of "giving and taking bribes; abusing position and power while performing duties, and obtaining property by false pretenses" at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Earlier, several officials were also arrested during the investigation of the case, including Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tô Anh Dũng; Nguyễn Quang Linh, Assistant to Standing Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh; Nguyễn Tiến Thân, an official at the Government Office’s department of international relations for allegedly taking bribes when organising repatriation flights for Vietnamese citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A number of other people from agencies, ministries and localities have also been detained for investigation of the case.

Việt Nam organised nearly 800 flights from the beginning of the pandemic, repatriating more than 200,000 Vietnamese citizens from over 60 countries and territories.

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