Government Office official arrested in pandemic repatriation scandal

By Thai Ha
Tue, September 20, 2022 | 9:31 pm GTM+7

Nguyen Thanh Hai, director of international relations at the Government Office, was detained Tuesday on charges of accepting bribes in the “rescue flight” scam that brought Vietnamese citizens home during the pandemic.

Hai, 51, was prosecuted and arrested by the Ministry of Public Security’s investigative agency per the Penal Code, said Lieutenant General To An Xo, chief of staff and spokesman of the ministry.

Hai is the 18th person to be prosecuted in the case of giving bribes, accepting bribes, and fraudulently appropriating property that occurred at the ministries of foreign affairs, public security, health, and transport, the Government Office, and related units that has been investigated for eight months.

Nguyen Thanh Hai, director of international relations at the Government Office. Photo courtesy of the police.

Nguyen Thanh Hai, director of international relations at the Government Office. Photo courtesy of the police.

Previously, Tran Van Du, 61, former deputy chief of the Ministry of Public Security's immigration management agency, and three others were detained on July 25 on suspicion of accepting bribes related to “rescue flights”.

On April 14, To Anh Dung, Deputy Foreign Minister, was arrested on charges of accepting bribes in the scam.

On January 28, the investigative agency arrested Nguyen Thi Huong Lan, 48, director of the Foreign Ministry's consular agency, and three subordinates for allegedly receiving bribes.

Two months later, Nguyen Dieu Mo, general director of An Binh Aviation Services, Tourism and Trade Company, was arrested on charges of bribery.

According to the public security ministry, there were nearly 2,000 "rescue flights" to bring Vietnamese citizens home from abroad during the Covid-19 outbreaks. After deducting costs, each flight generated a profit of several billion dong (VND1 billion = $42,750).

Comments (0)
  • Read More
US dollar scales record high peak of VND24,000

US dollar scales record high peak of VND24,000

The exchange rate at Vietnamese commercial banks crossed VND24,000 per dollar Thursday, reaching a new peak that it had not scaled before.

Banking - Thu, September 29, 2022 | 9:45 pm GTM+7

Proptech firm Levitate makes its debut in Vietnam

Proptech firm Levitate makes its debut in Vietnam

Singapore-headquartered housing development platform Levitate has made Vietnam its debut market, giving consumers in the country more creative input when buying their own home.

Real Estate - Thu, September 29, 2022 | 9:19 pm GTM+7

VN-Index drops for fifth consecutive day despite strong economic data

VN-Index drops for fifth consecutive day despite strong economic data

Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index dropped 17.55 points Thursday to 1,126.07, despite newly-released data showing the country’s nine-month GDP growth hitting 8.83%, a record high in 12 years.

Finance - Thu, September 29, 2022 | 5:18 pm GTM+7

Steel giant Hoa Phat starts operating $42 mln home appliance factory

Steel giant Hoa Phat starts operating $42 mln home appliance factory

Hoa Phat Group has begun production at its new home appliance factory worth VND1,000 billion ($42 million) in Ha Nam province.

Industries - Thu, September 29, 2022 | 4:28 pm GTM+7

Four major markets spend $27 billion importing phones, components from Vietnam

Four major markets spend $27 billion importing phones, components from Vietnam

The U.S., EU, China and South Korea imported nearly $27 billion worth of phones and components from Vietnam in the first eight months of the year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

Economy - Thu, September 29, 2022 | 4:06 pm GTM+7

Hai Phong aims to attract $15 billion in FDI for 2020-2025

Hai Phong aims to attract $15 billion in FDI for 2020-2025

The northern port city of Hai Phong seeks to build 15 more industrial parks totaling 6,200 hectares to attract $15 billion in foreign direct investment in 2020-2025.

Industries - Thu, September 29, 2022 | 3:13 pm GTM+7

Viettel picks Taiwan’s UfiSpace for massive 5G roll out

Viettel picks Taiwan’s UfiSpace for massive 5G roll out

Vietnamese tech giant Viettel has selected Taiwanese 5G solutions supplier UfiSpace to jointly deploy disaggregated cell site gateways for Viettel’s massive 5G rollout in Vietnam.

Industries - Thu, September 29, 2022 | 2:27 pm GTM+7

Ministry proposes inclusion of five coal-fired projects in new power plan

Ministry proposes inclusion of five coal-fired projects in new power plan

The Ministry of Industry and Trade has proposed that the government includes five coal-fired thermal power projects in the national power development plan VIII.

Energy - Thu, September 29, 2022 | 1:16 pm GTM+7

Vietnam’s nine-month GDP growth highest in 12 years

Vietnam’s nine-month GDP growth highest in 12 years

Vietnam’s economic growth of 8.83% year-on-year in the first nine months is the highest recorded in 12 years.

Economy - Thu, September 29, 2022 | 12:19 pm GTM+7

Vietnam a top five investment destination for Warburg Pincus: CEO

Vietnam a top five investment destination for Warburg Pincus: CEO

Vietnam is an increasingly attractive and important investment destination for U.S. firms, and one of the five most significant locations for Warburg Pincus, its CEO Charles Kaye said Wednesday.

Industries - Thu, September 29, 2022 | 11:05 am GTM+7

Tokyo Gas, Kyuden Group ink LNG power project pact

Tokyo Gas, Kyuden Group ink LNG power project pact

Japan's Tokyo Gas and Kyuden Group have inked a memorandum of understanding with Truong Thanh Vietnam JSC on jointly developing an LNG-to-power project with a phase-one capacity of 1,500 megawatts in northern Vietnam.

Energy - Thu, September 29, 2022 | 6:30 am GTM+7

VN-Index plunges to 19-month low amid broad selloffs

VN-Index plunges to 19-month low amid broad selloffs

Vietnam’s benchmark VN-Index dropped 22.92 points Wednesday, or 1.96%, to 19-month low of 1,143.62 points, due to broad selloffs of major stocks.

Finance - Wed, September 28, 2022 | 6:05 pm GTM+7

Deputy foreign minister fired in pandemic repatriation scam

Deputy foreign minister fired in pandemic repatriation scam

Deputy Foreign Minister To Anh Dung and Nguyen Quang Linh, assistant to Standing Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, were fired Wednesday for violations related to repatriation of Vietnamese citizens during the pandemic crisis.

Politics - Wed, September 28, 2022 | 5:21 pm GTM+7

'Big 4' banks increase deposit rate

'Big 4' banks increase deposit rate

Biggest Vietnamese lenders Vietcombank, VietinBank, and Agribank have hiked their deposit interest rates by over one percentage point, after the central bank raised the deposit rate ceiling last week.

Banking - Wed, September 28, 2022 | 4:54 pm GTM+7

IFC to help HCMC in waste-to-energy prefeasibility study

IFC to help HCMC in waste-to-energy prefeasibility study

The World Bank’s investment arm IFC will assist Ho Chi Minh City authorities to assess the prefeasibility of developing an advanced waste-to-energy facility in the southern economic hub, the body said Wednesday.

Energy - Wed, September 28, 2022 | 4:25 pm GTM+7

Fed rate hikes challenge Vietnam’s FDI attraction drive

Fed rate hikes challenge Vietnam’s FDI attraction drive

International institutions have lowered their global 2023 growth forecasts following the Fed’s interest rate hikes. Experts fear that investment flows worldwide would leave emerging markets for developed countries. The Investor talks with Professor Nguyen Mai, chairman of the Vietnam Association of Foreign-Invested Enterprises (VAFIE), about possible impacts on Vietnam.

Executive Talk - Wed, September 28, 2022 | 3:05 pm GTM+7