|Tào Đức Hiệp (left) and Lê Thị Ngọc Anh. — Photo from the Ministry of Public Security|
HÀ NỘI — Lieut. Gen. Tô Ân Xô, Chief of Office and spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security, has announced that as a result of further investigation into the bribery case that happened at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the investigation agency has issued decisions to prosecute, arrest, and search the residences and workplaces of two more defendants.
One of them is Tào Đức Hiệp, born in 1976, who was former director of the Việt Nam Railways Trade Union Tourist Co Ltd. Hiệp was prosecuted for "giving bribes" under Article 364 of the Penal Code.
The other is Lê Thị Ngọc Anh, born in 1984, a staff member at the faculty in charge of a guest house under the Party Central Committee's Commission for External Relations. She is facing a charge of "fraud to appropriate property" as prescribed in Article 174 of the Penal Code.
This is a new development in the under-investigation case of giving and accepting bribes involving the organisation of repatriation flights and quarantine facilities for Vietnamese citizens from overseas during the COVID-19 border closures in 2020-21.
The investigation also centres on abusing position and power while on official duty; and fraudulently appropriating property, which occurred at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Hà Nội and other provinces and cities.
Several senior officials have been arrested and prosecuted in the case, including a deputy foreign minister, the head and deputy head of the Consular Department under the foreign ministry, and an assistant to the Permanent Deputy Prime Minister, along with former embassy officials in Japan and Malaysia.
At a press conference at the end of June, the Investigation Security Agency said that initial investigation results have indicated that the defendants received tens of billions of đồng and hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribery. — VNS