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Warrant issued for senior Hau Giang official

Released at: 17:30, 17/09/2016

Warrant issued for senior Hau Giang official

Photo: Cuu Long/Courtesy

Mr. Trinh Xuan Thanh, whose whereabouts are unknown, accused of violating State regulations on economic management.

by Duy Anh

The Ministry of Public Security issued a domestic and international arrest warrant on September 16 for the Deputy Chairman of the Hau Giang Provincial People’s Committee in the Mekong Delta and former Chairman of the PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC), Mr. Trinh Xuan Thanh.

He is accused of violating State regulations on economic management resulting in massive losses for PVC during his leadership.

He is assumed to have left Vietnam at the end of July, having submitted a leave of absence application for July 25-29. On August 19 he submitted a further application for August 3 - September 2 to go overseas for medical treatment. His current whereabouts are unknown.

On September 15 the ministry’s investigative police announced criminal proceedings for violations at PVC. Police arrested four former PVC executives as part of an investigation into some VND3.2 trillion ($142 million) in losses accumulated under their watch.

A statement from the Ministry of Public Security said that Mr. Vu Duc Thuan, former PVC General Director, along with his two deputies and the chief accountant, had been taken into custody.

They will be questioned over “violating economic management regulations causing serious consequences,” the ministry said.

On September 8, members of the Secretariat of the Party Central Committee agreed to expel Mr. Thanh from the Party.

Mr. Thanh faced public criticism for his alleged abuse of an official license plate on his Lexus motor vehicle, which he then claimed was not his. Appointed to his position last May, he explained that because of the province’s difficult financial situation it was unable to arrange a vehicle for him to commute to work. He therefore borrowed his friend’s car.

The car was previously registered as a private vehicle in Hanoi, where Mr. Thanh hails from. The case caught the attention of Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who asked all relevant agencies to inspect Mr. Thanh’s case.

The report from the Inspection Commission said that Mr. Thanh, as Chairman of PVC from 2007 to 2013, had been negligent and lax in his management of the corporation’s operations, resulting in a range of legal violations and losses of more than VND3.2 trillion ($142 million).

“Such violations are serious and degrade people’s trust in the Party and the State,” the report said. “As a leader of PVC, Mr. Thanh must take responsibility for these violations.”

The Commission also found that Mr. Thanh’s promotion was not done correctly. Those who nominated him to other positions such as the Deputy Chief of Office at the Ministry of Industry and Trade and Head of the ministry’s Enterprise Innovation Department, as well as to Deputy Chairman of Hau Giang province, had violated principles relating to the criteria for promotion.

The Commission, therefore, recommended the Politburo and other relevant agencies clarify the mistakes and violations of individuals and bodies regarding Mr. Thanh’s case and punish any malfeasance.

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