Deputy Foreign Minister arrested over bribery allegations

Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs To Anh Dung has been arrested over allegations he received bribes when organising repatriation flights for Vietnamese citizens abroad during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Investigation Security Agency under the Ministry of Public Security launched criminal proceedings against the senior government official and searched his house and workplace, according Chief of the Office and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security Lieut. Gen. To An Xo.

The arrest was the latest development in the investigation into the case of "giving and taking bribes" at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' Consular Department, in Hanoi and other provinces and cities.

Two other men were also arrested for their alleged involvement in the case. They are Pham Trung Kien, an employee of the Ministry of Health's Department of Medical Equipment and Projects, and Vu Anh Tuan, a former officer of the Ministry of Public Security's Department of Immigration.

In January, the Investigation Security Agency launched an official investigation into the case of "taking bribes". It issued decisions to start criminal proceedings against and detained four other officials of the Consular Department for “taking bribes” in line with Article 354 of the Penal Code.

They are Nguyen Thi Huong Lan, head of the Consular Department; Do Hoang Tung, deputy head of the department; Le Tuan Anh, chief of the department’s office; and Luu Tuan Dung, deputy head of the citizen protection desk at the department.

The agency then prosecuted and arrested Hoang Dieu Mo, born in 1980, General Director of An Binh Commercial, Tourism and Aviation Services Co., Ltd for giving bribes on March 25 after its further investigation.

Vietnam organised nearly 800 flights since the beginning of the pandemic, repatriating more than 200,000 Vietnamese citizens from over 60 countries and territories.