|The police's initial investigation found that the company had illegally imported 46 Hitachi biochemistry automatic analysers through two customs centres at Noi Bai and Gia Lam from 2007-12.— Photo tuoitre.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — The Ministry of Public Security has remanded Pham Hong Anh, 41, of Tuong Mai District in Ha Noi, director of ANNA Company, for allegedly smuggling refurbished medical equipment.
Importing second-hand medical equipment into Viet Nam is forbidden under local law.
The police's initial investigation found that the company had illegally imported 46 Hitachi biochemistry automatic analysers through two customs centres at Noi Bai and Gia Lam from 2007-12.
Police said that 38 of the 46 biochemistry automatic analysers had been sourced from France's Fameco Company, which specialises in trading re-manufactured analytical instruments.
The company made a request to the Ministry of Health's Institute of Medical Equipment and Construction Design in April last year to allow it to import new medical equipment, including Hitachi biochemistry automatic analyzer models 904, 911 and 917 manufactured in 2012 and 2013 from America, Japan and France.
The application was successful and the institute issued a license for the company to begin imports of new medical equipment.
However, the medical equipment imported into Viet Nam was refurbished, with the company opting to lend the medical equipment to district-level hospitals and health care centres for no fees. The hospital and health care centres were then asked to buy chemicals from a unit specified by the company, in addition to committing to using quantities of chemicals worth US$2,000-3,000 per month.
More details are expected to emerge as the police continue their investigation.
The incident follows an earlier discovery made by Ha Noi police on July 28, where city-based Thuong Tin Hospital was found to have borrowed a Hitachi 717 biochemistry analyser, an outdated model that had been placed on the country's list of prohibited imports, from the Dong Da-based Phu Cuong An Co Ltd.
The hospital had also purchased VND1.2 billion ($57,700) worth of analysing chemicals from Phu Cuong An company.
The hospital was fined VND30 million ($1,400) for its violation. — VNS