|The defendants at the court. — VNA/VNS Photo|
HÀ NỘI —The Hà Nội People’s Court on Saturday sentenced Nguyễn Nhật Cảm, former director of the Hanoi Centre for Disease Control (CDC Hanoi), to 10 years in prison for “violations on bidding regulations that cause serious consequences”.
Also convicted of the same count, Nguyễn Vũ Hà Thanh, former head of the CDC Hanoi’s Financial-Accounting Office; and Đào Thế Vinh, Director of Vietnam Scientific and Material Science Company Limited (MST), each received jail terms of six years and six months.
Nguyễn Thị Kim Dung, former head of the CDC Hanoi’s Organisation Office; Nguyễn Ngọc Nhất, an employee of Vitech Development Co.,Ltd; and Nguyễn Trần Duy, former General Director of Nhân Thành Asset Valuation and Auctioning JSC, were jailed for six years.
Prison terms of five years was given to Nguyễn Ngọc Quỳnh, former head of the CDC Hanoi’s Professional Plan Office; and Nguyễn Thanh Tuyền, an employee of Phương Đông Medical Equipment Co.,Ltd.
Meanwhile, Lê Xuân Tuấn, an official of CDC Hanoi; and Hoàng Kim Thư, former Chief Accountant of CDC Hanoi, were sentenced to three years’ probation.
The jury said that the defendants’ acts were extremely dangerous to society, affecting the Party and State’s prestige.
The first-instance trial verdict said that taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic, from early February, former CDC director Nguyễn Nhật Cảm colluded with Nhất, Tuyến and Vinh to raise the prices of medical machinery and equipment in a bidding package from CDC Hanoi.
He then directed his employees to legalise all normal procedures, enabling MST to win the bid at a price they had agreed upon, resulting in an economic loss of more than VNĐ5.4 billion (US$233,200).
Procurators said Cảm was the mastermind.
The defendants earlier confessed to police that they jacked up the price of the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) machines used in testing the new coronavirus by a factor of three. — VNS