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First-instance trial opens for CDC Hanoi case

The People’s Court of Hanoi on Thursday opened the first-instance trial over price gouging at Hanoi’s Centre for Disease Control.

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The People’s Court of Hanoi opened the first-instance trial on Thursday. — VNA/VNS Photo 

There are 10 defendants involved in the case, including six from the CDC - former CDC Director Nguyen Nhat Cam, Nguyen Vu Ha Thanh, former head of Financial-Accounting Office, Nguyen Thi Kim Dung, former head of the Organisation Office, Nguyen Ngoc Quynh, former head of the Professional Plan Office, Hoang Kim Thu, former chief accountant, and Le Xuan Tuan, a CDC official.

The four others are from private companies, namely Dao The Vinh, Director of Vietnam Scientific and Material Science Company Limited (MST), Nguyen Tran Duy, General Director of Nhan Thanh Asset Valuation and Auctioning JS, Nguyen Ngoc Nhat, an employee of Vitech Development Co., Ltd, and Nguyen Thanh Tuyen, an employee of Phuong Dong Medical Equipment Co., Ltd.

Twenty-seven lawyers have registered to represent the defendants at the court.

According to the indictment by the Supreme People’s Procuracy, taking advantage of the COVID-19 situation, from early February, former CDC Director Nguyen Nhat Cam colluded with Nhat, Tuyen and Vinh to raise the prices of medical machinery and equipment in a bidding package from CDC Hanoi before carrying out normal procedures.

He then allegedly directed his employees to legalise all normal procedures, enabling MST to win the bid at a price they had agreed upon, resulting in an economic loss of more than VND5.4 billion (US$233,200).

Procurators said Cam was the mastermind.

The defendants earlier confessed to police they jacked up the price of the Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) machines used in testing the new coronavirus by a factor of three.

Under Article 222 of the Penal Code, those who violate bidding regulations that cause serious consequences may face a sentence of 1-20 years in prison, depending on the level of infringement. VNS

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