|Vietnamese citizens aboard in a rescue flight back to Việt Nam last year. VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI — The Investigation Security Agency under the Ministry of Public Security has ordered cities and provinces organising repatriation (rescue) flights from abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide records and documents for further investigation.
The Investigation Security Agency has also asked the people's committees of these localities to review, inspect and provide information about hotels and resorts used as paid quarantine facilities for further investigation related to people on entry and self-paid flights.
This is the latest in the investigation at the Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs into bribery and taking advantage of policies to profit illegally.
Local authorities have been asked to list resorts and hotels used as paid quarantine facilities for Vietnamese citizens who returned from abroad on rescue flights, including facilities that applied for the service but weren't chosen.
Local authorities have been told to list those who chose hotels and resorts as paid quarantine places and report the application and selection procedure to the Investigation Security Agency.
The Investigation Security Agency has required local authorities to make statistics and provide all dossiers of enterprises applying for the quarantine policy to organise rescue flights for paid passengers.
The agency determined why some were not chosen to be a part of the scheme and whether others were chosen but did not bring citizens home.
The agency will also require a list of enterprises that applied to receive experts and workers from abroad and the addresses of registered individuals after the quarantine period ends.
On Monday, the Office of the People's Committee of Quảng Nam Province said it had received the request of the Security Investigation Agency.
The committee has assigned the Department of Health, the Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, the Department of Foreign Affairs and relevant agencies and units to review, inspect and provide information at the request of the investigative security agency. The draft reply must be sent to the committee before October 28.
The agency has also sent a written request to the People's Committee of central Thanh Hóa Province to review, check and provide information related to entry and self-paid flights and hotels and resorts as paid quarantine facilities.
The Investigation Security Agency under the Ministry of Public Security had prosecuted members of the Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for taking bribes while licensing the firms that conducted repatriation flights for Vietnamese people abroad.
The agency decided to start legal proceedings against four individuals for 'taking bribes' in line with Article 354 of the Penal Code.
The arrested were; Nguyễn Thi Hương Lan, 48, head of the Consular Department; Đỗ Hoàng Tùng, 42, deputy head of the department; Lê Tuấn Anh, 40, chief of the department's office; and Lưu Tuấn Dũng, 35, deputy head of the citizen protection desk at the department.
The agency then prosecuted and arrested Hoàng Diệu Mơ, 42, General Director of An Bình Commercial, Tourism and Aviation Services Co., Ltd for giving a bribe on March 25 after its further investigation.
Criminal proceedings were launched against Nguyễn Quang Linh, Assistant to Standing Deputy Prime Minister Phạm Bình Minh, on September 27 for allegedly taking bribes in the scandal related to COVID-19 repatriation flights.
Since the pandemic hit the country in early 2020, agencies organised nearly 800 flights to repatriate 200,000 citizens from more than 60 countries and territories, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported. — VNS