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March 2, 2024
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Hanoi court sentences former AIC chairwoman to 30 years in prison

Hanoi People’s Court has sentenced the former chairwoman and general director of Advanced International Joint Stock Company – known as AIC – to a total of 30 years in prison. Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan has evaded arrest and is hiding abroad.

Nhan was accused of masterminding bid-rigging to win 16 contracts to supply medical equipment to Dong Nai General Hospital, in Dong Nai province northeast of Ho Chi Minh City. AIC made a profit of VND150 billion (U.S.$6.3 million) on the deals.

She was charged in absentia with violating bidding regulations; abusing her position and power; failing to take responsibility, leading to serious consequences; and giving and receiving bribes.

Nhan was found guilty on two counts and sentenced to 16 years in prison for violating regulations on bidding and 14 years for giving bribes.

The jury in Wednesday’s trial sentenced 35 other people in connection with the case including leading officials from Dong Nai province.

Former Dong Nai provincial Party Committee Secretary Tran Dinh Thah was sentenced to 11 years in prison for taking bribes. Former Dong Nai provincial People’s Committee Chairman Dinh Quoc received a nine-year sentence, also for accepting bribes.

Former Dong Nai General Hospital Director Phan Huy Anh Vu – later the director of Dong Nai provincial Department of Health — was sentenced to 10 years in prison for “violating regulations on bidding, causing serious consequences” and nine years for taking bribes meaning he will spend 19 years in prison.

Eight defendants, including Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhan, are still on the run.

The trial began on Dec. 21, 2022, one of three major cases investigated last year as part of the Communist Party’s ongoing crackdown on corruption.

Viet A.gif
Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy (left) and Nguyen Bach Thuy Linh were arrested on Jan. 4, 2023 in connection with the Viet A COVID test kit case. Credit: Vietnam Police

Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security said on Dec. 12 that 102 people are being investigated in connection with the Viet A COVID-19 test kit case in which the health company won a contract to sell COVID-19 testing kits to hospitals at a 45% markup after bribing officials.

The case led to the downfall of Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, who lost his job after being removed from the Communist Party’s Central Committee on Dec. 30. Dam was responsible for healthcare during the Viet A scandal.

On Jan. 4, the Investigative Police Agency of the Ministry of Public Security arrested two more people in connection with the case: Nguyen Thi Thanh Thuy, a former specialist at the Vietnam Education Publishing House, and Nguyen Bach Thuy Linh, Director of SNB Holdings One Member Limited Liability Company.

The Public Security Ministry has also detained 27 people in connection with the Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group case. They include company chairwoman Truong My Lan, who is accused of illegally issuing bonds worth tens of millions of U.S. dollars in 2018 and 2019 to obtain prime real estate in Ho Chi Minh City.

Translated by RFA Vietnamese. Written in English by Mike Firn.

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