|Director of the Việt Nam Register Đặng Việt Hà is listening the arrest warrant in his office. – Photo courtesy of the police
HCM CITY – Director of Việt Nam Register Đặng Việt Hà was detained by HCM City’s police for taking bribes.
The police also searched Hà’s office and residence on Wednesday evening.
According to the police, Hà’s arrest is part of a plan to expand the investigation of the case of ‘taking bribes’, ‘receiving bribes’, ‘brokering bribes’, and ‘forgery in the discharge of duties’ in the vehicle registration centres in HCM City and other southern provinces.
Previously, on December 28, 2022, the police searched the Motor Vehicle Inspection Department (The Việt Nam Register) on Hà Nội’s Phạm Hùng Street.
On January 4, the police issued a decision to launch criminal proceedings, arrest and search the residences of three officers of the Việt Nam Register on criminal charges of receiving bribe, include Trần Anh Quân (born in 1963), Acting Head of Motor Vehicle Inspection Department; Đặng Trần Khanh (born in 1976), Deputy Head of Motor Vehicle Inspection Department; and Phạm Đức Ngọc (born in 1966), a staff of Motor Vehicle Inspection Department.
Up to now, the HCM City’s police has prosecuted 85 suspects in this case, in which, 80 defendants are directors, deputy directors and employees of 13 registration centres and 4 defendants of the Việt Nam Register.
According to the investigation, from the very beginning, to set up the registration centres, the defendants of the motor vehicle inspection units had to spend hundreds of millions of đồng for the Việt Nam Register and the director to get the licenses.
Besides, in order to have money to weekly distribute to the department’s staff and to fund the operation of the centres, the accused, who are the heads of the registration centres, directed the staff to intentionally omitted violations during the process of vehicle quality inspection and emission standard measurement.
The registration staff had intentionally ignored the manual inspection stages, leased spare parts for non-standard spare parts, used softwares interfering the registration system to change emission testing parametres of more than 70,000 vehicles.
The centres gained illicit profits with an estimated amount of nearly VNĐ10 billion (US$430,000).
The police said that the violations at the registration centres were systematic, throughout and took place over a long time, involving the employees, the directors of the registration centres and especially the Director of the Việt Nam Register.
Over 30 centres close
The Việt Nam Register reported yesterday that 33 registration centres across the country were temporarily suspending operations due to the request of the investigating agency or lack of personnel and for a number of other reasons.
The fact that many registration centres’ leaders, inspectors and registration staff were prosecuted and detained badly affected the motor vehicle inspection of people and businesses, especially as Tết (Lunar New Year) is approaching.
The most on the list announced by the department is Hà Nội with 11 centres temporarily stopping operation, 10 of which closed to serve the investigation and one was suspended due to failure to meet fire prevention and fighting regulations.
The centres in northern provinces of Hòa Bình, Bắc Giang và Bắc Ninh are halting operation due to lacking staff and equipment.
According to an official of the Transport Department of Hoà Bình Province, the temporary close of the registration centre badly affected people and businesses because the centre is the only vehicle inspection unit in Hoà Bình Province.
After the official conclusion of the investigation police on the centre’s violations, the department would advise the provincial People's Committee to send a request to the Ministry of Transport and the Việt nam Register to support personnel, he said.
In HCM City, there were nine centres temporarily closed for investigation and one stopped working due to land acquisition while other southern provinces having centres suspended for investigation are Đồng Nai, Long An, Tiền Giang, Đồng Tháp, Bến Tre and Sóc Trăng.
The temporary close of centres have pushed the registration work into difficulty and caused many problem for vehicle owners.
The registration centres that are still in operation have to mobilise all their forces to serve people and businesses but are still overloaded, an official of the Ministry of Transport said.
"Now, the only way is to ask the staff to work overtime and send staff to support other centres,” the official said.
“We also hope the authorities allowed to re-open the centres which were completed the investigation so as to re-stabilise the personnel and serve vehicle owners,” he said.
Currently, there is no other solution than waiting, he said. – VNS