US$70 million worth of assets recovered, frozen in Viet A COVID-19 test kit case

The police have recovered, distrained and frozen properties of people involving in the COVID-19 test kit overcharging at Viet A Technologies JSC, Lt. Gen. To An Xo, Chief of Office and spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security told reporters during a recent routine Government press conference.

The police have worked through the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday, regardless of the COVID-19 impacts, to investigate into the case, he said, adding that the police departments in 62 out of the country's 63 provinces and centrally-run cities are collecting information related to the case.

He further noted that over VND1.6 trillion (US$70.05 million) worth of assets from the involved people have been recovered, distrained and frozen by the police so far.

His ministry is also accelerating probes at ministries and agencies which were connected with the development, production and evaluation of Viet A’s test kits.

Last December, the police arrested and initiated legal proceedings against Phan Quoc Viet, general director of Viet A Technologies, for raising the price of RT-PCR COVID-19 test kits and giving bribery to health officials to sell their test kits.

The initial investigation showed that Viet and key leaders of the company had admitted to colluding with leaders of hospitals and CDCs to supply COVID-19 test kits to hospitals and CDCs these units at prices set by the company, which were much higher than the production price. 

The Ministry of Public Security has also found signs of wrongdoings in the management, research and transfer of the scientific project on COVID-19 test kits at the Ministry of Science and Technology and in licensing the circulation of the test kits and the negotiation of COVID-19 test kit price with the Viet A Company at the Ministry of Health.

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