Se­nior of­fi­cial sought for graft

The Myanmar Times - - World -

VIET­NAM has is­sued an ar­rest war­rant for a scan­dal-hit se­nior of­fi­cial ac­cused of mis­man­ag­ing a unit of a gov­ern­ment-run oil gi­ant, the lat­est ex­ec­u­tive tar­geted in Hanoi’s at­tempt to clean up the cor­rupt state sec­tor.

Trinh Xuan Thanh, one of the high­est rank­ing of­fi­cials to be sought by po­lice in the com­mu­nist na­tion in re­cent years, has not been seen in public since he left the coun­try last month, ac­cord­ing to state-run me­dia.

His ar­rest war­rant came just one day af­ter four of his for­mer col­leagues at the PetroViet­nam Con­struc­tion (PVC) sub­sidiary were ar­rested for cost­ing the firm nearly US$150 mil­lion dur­ing his time as chair.

Viet­nam’s Public Se­cu­rity Min­istry said it was seek­ing Mr Thanh for “in­ten­tion­ally vi­o­lat­ing state reg­u­la­tions on eco­nomic man­age­ment caus­ing se­ri­ous con­se­quences”.

He was re­moved as PVC chair in 2013 but has since shuf­fled through a num­ber of se­nior gov­ern­ment post­ings, in­clud­ing most re­cently as deputy head of Hau Giang prov­ince.

Mr Thanh left the coun­try in mid-Au­gust for med­i­cal care and was stripped of his Com­mu­nist Party mem­ber­ship last week to pave the way for a crim­i­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion, ac­cord­ing to VNEx­press news site, who said his where­abouts were un­known.

Mr Thanh has been a marked man ever since he was spot­ted driv­ing a pricy Lexus with a state li­cence plate, spark­ing public out­rage over in­ap­pro­pri­ate use of public funds.

Viet­nam has been strug­gling to clean up its vast and in­ef­fi­cient staterun sec­tor for years, and the new com­mu­nist ad­min­is­tra­tion in power since Jan­uary has vowed to tackle cor­rup­tion.

There have been a string of high­pro­file ar­rests and pros­e­cu­tions of wealthy busi­ness­peo­ple and ex­ec­u­tives in re­cent years, but an­a­lysts say they are the re­sult of political in­fight­ing rather than a gen­uine com­mit­ment to re­form.

Trans­parency In­ter­na­tional ranks Viet­nam 112 out of 168 on its cor­rup­tion in­dex, worse than its South­east Asian neigh­bours Thai­land, the Philip­pines and Myan­mar. –

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