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March 2, 2024

Head of Vietnam’s vehicle registration agency arrested on bribery charges

Police arrested the head of the Vietnamese agency responsible for registering cars, trains, ships and other industrial products on charges of taking bribes on Wednesday, the Ministry of Public Security posted on its website. 

The arrest of Dang Viet Ha came after police said they conducted investigations on 83 suspects in a nationwide crackdown on alleged corruption in offices under the agency, called the Vietnam Register.

The investigations spanned 13 registration centers, including eight in Ho Chi Minh City, Lt. Gen. To An Xo, a spokesperson at the Ministry of Public Security, told reporters on Wednesday.

On the eve of  the arrest, Vietnam’s Law Newspaper posted an online story about Ho Chi Minh City police arresting Dang Viet Ha after summoning him from Hanoi. The paper explicitly pointed to wrongdoings in his role at the Vietnam Register as the reason for his arrest. But 30 minutes after it was posted, the story was taken down without further explanation. 

On January 6, the Ministry of Transport decided to assign Nguyen Vu Hai, the deputy head of the Vietnam Register, to take over the agency as the investigation continues. 

In Dong Nai, police raided and locked down a local vehicle registration and inspection center on Jan 10th, the day before the arrest. Authorities  in Bac Ninh and Bac Giang provinces prosecuted 19 people on bribery charges relating to motor vehicle inspection on the same day. 

On Jan 11th, the Vietnam Register announced that it had suspended the operation of 30 registration and inspection centers throughout the country due to ongoing police investigations.

Translated by Anna Vu. Edited by Nawar Nemeh and Malcolm Foster. 

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