1.22 trillion VND relating to COVID-19 test kit case seized
The police has seized, blocked and averted real estate transactions and accounts worth US$53.86 million relating to the case of COVID-19 test kit developer Viet A Technologies JSC, an officer said on January 28.
Lieutenant General To An Xo, Chief of the Office and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security, speaks at the press conference.
The investigation agency under the Ministry of Public Security has seized, blocked and averted real estate transactions and accounts worth 1.22 trillion VND (53.86 million USD) relating to the case of COVID-19 test kit developer Viet A Technologies JSC, an officer said on January 28.
Lieutenant General To An Xo, Chief of the Office and Spokesperson of the Ministry of Public Security, said at the Government’s regular press conference that the agency is working hard to investigate the test kit overcharging case in accordance with guidelines of the Central Steering Committee on Anti-Corruption.
It has coordinated with other agencies in the investigation, he said, revealing that many individuals are linked with the case.
On January 21, the agency launched legal proceedings against Lam Van Tuan, Director of the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) of northern Bac Giang province and two others to clarify their roles in the case.
Earlier, legal proceedings began against Chairman and General Director of the Viet A Technologies JSC Phan Quoc Viet, and Director of the CDC of Hai Duong province Pham Duy Tuyen, for “violating regulations on bidding, causing serious consequences”.
Under further investigation, police found that Viet, Vu Dinh Hiep, who is Deputy Director of the Viet A company, and Tuyen offered and received a bribe of 27 billion VND.
The agency has also launched a probe into Nguyen Minh Tuan, former director of the Ministry of Health (MoH)’s department for health care equipment and projects, Nguyen Nam Lien, director of the MoH’s department for financial planning, and Trinh Thanh Hung, deputy director of the department of science and technology for economic technical branches under the Ministry of Science and Technology for their alleged abuse of position and power while performing duties.
It 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.
Legal actions have also been launched against related suspects at the CDCs of Nghe An and Binh Duong provinces.
Viet A Technology Corporation has been found to have imported three million rapid Covid-19 test kits named Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV Antigen Test (Colloidal Gold) from China at US$0.995, or VND21,560 per kit in the last four months of last year.
Deputy Prime Minister Le Minh Khai has asked the Government Inspectorate to inspect Covid-19 testing kit and equipment procurement at the Ministry of Health and in HCMC and Hanoi.
Several suspects in the overcharging for COVID-19 test kits at the Viet A Technologies JSC are being investigated for “offering bribe”, “receiving bribe”, and “abusing position and power while performing duties”.