The Problem of Corruption in Vietnam Part II

By | May 10, 2021

In August 2017, the Deputy Trade Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa lost her position – she was also accused of corruption.

In mid-2016, Trinh Xuan Thanh, a former director of a company belonging to Petro Vietnam, who had been accused of massive mismanagement, fled to Germany from the threat of arrest. In July 2017, the Vietnamese secret service kidnapped him in broad daylight in Berlin and took him to Hanoi. This extraordinary measure, which put a considerable strain on German-Vietnamese relations, must be seen not only in connection with the fight against corruption, but also as a sign of internal party disputes.

In a trial against former OceanBank managers, former General Manager Nguyen Xuan Son was sentenced to death in Hanoi in September 2017 for massive embezzlement of state funds; other defendants received long prison terms.

In October 2017, Nguyen Xuan Anh lost his position as party leader in Da Nang and his seat on the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Vietnam. He was accused of corruption and “serious violations” of the party statutes.

In a further stage of the anti-corruption campaign by party leader Nguyen Phu Trong, Dinh La Thang, who had previously lost his post in the Politburo and as party leader of Ho Chi Minh City, and his younger brother were arrested in December 2017.

Dinh La Thang, arrested in 2017, was sentenced to 13 years in prison in January 2018 in one of the largest anti-corruption trials in recent years. 21 other defendants also received long prison sentences.

In the spring of 2018, a number of senior officials, some of whom were retired, were arrested or placed under house arrest from the Da Nang City Council and the Ministry of Public Security on suspicion of involvement in dubious real estate deals.

In June 2018 in Ho Chi Minh City, a former high-ranking bank clerk received a 30-year prison sentence for grossly misappropriating funds.

The anti-corruption campaign continued in the further course of 2018: In November a former labor minister was arrested on charges of mismanagement of state funds.

According to dentistrymyth, the anti-corruption campaign by party leader Nguyen Phu Trong is now directed not only against supporters of the networks of the former Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, but also generally against corrupt cadres and, above all, managers of banks and state-owned companies such as the oil company PetroVietnam. The party leadership is increasingly appealing to the “morals” of party members and admonishing them not to alienate themselves from the principles of Marxism-Leninism through “self-development”.

In December 2019, a high- profile trial of two former ministers and members of the party’s Central Committee ended with long prison sentences: Nguyen Bac Son received life sentence, Truong Minh Tuan has been imprisoned for 14 years. Both had taken immense bribes from Pham Nhat Vu, brother of Pham Nhat Vuong, the richest man in Vietnam. The prosecution had requested the death penalty for Nguyen Bac Son. It is difficult to determine whether the defendant’s family repayments of $ 3 million in bribes had any impact on the sentence.

There are clear signs that the fight against corruption will continue into 2020. In January, the party leader in Hanoi, Hoang Trung Hai, received an internal party “reprimand” for mismanagement of funds; a short time later he lost his post.

Even Le Thanh Hai, former party leader and chairman of People’s Committee of Ho Chi Minh City, fell since 2019 increasingly targeted the Vietnamese anti-corruption authorities. His terms of office coincided with those of Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung. He is now accused of having ruled the largest city in Vietnam like a “feudal lord” and embezzling funds on a large scale.

The fight against corruption, for example in administration, results in different results from region to region. As Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City cut the Provincial Governance and Public Administration Performance Index 2018 (PAPI 2018) in comparison very badly.

Truong Son Heroes' Cemetery