Information Minister suspended amidst corruption scandal

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Vietnam information minister
Vietnam information minister

Vietnam Minister of Information and Communications, Truong Minh Tuan, was suspended on Monday for alleged involvement in a financial scandal at a state-owned telecom company, state media reported.

According to the report, Tuan’s suspension was ordered by President Tran Dai Quang.

He was previously dismissed on July 12 as party chief at the ministry by the Communist Party’s Politburo, the country’s supreme decision-making body.

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Tuan’s punishments stem from a now-cancelled deal in which the mobile carrier MobiFone acquired a 95 per cent stake in pay TV firm AVG.

Former minister, Nguyen Bac Son, had approved the acquisition without approval from the Prime Minister’s office, while Tuan, then his deputy, had signed the decision to approve the deal.

The deal was found to have caused a 307 million dollars loss to the state budget.

Le Nam Tra, 57, the former Chairman of MobiFone, was arrested on July 10 and charged with violating regulations of state capital management with “serious consequences”.

Pham Dinh Trong, 48, Head of the Business Management Department under the Information Ministry, was arrested on the same charge.
Vietnam has undergone a corruption crackdown in the past year under the leadership of Communist Party General –Secretary, Nguyen Phu Trong.

Major players in state-owned enterprises, including Trinh Xuan Thanh, a former oil executive serving two life sentences, and Dinh La Thang, former chairman of PetroVietnam and Tranh’s former benefactor, have been convicted.

dpa/NAN