Vietnam’s police on May 4 launched a criminal prosecution against Le Bach Hong, former deputy prime minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs cum former general director of the Vietnam Social Security (VSS).
Le Bach Hong, former deputy prime minister of Labor, War Invalids and Social Affairs cum former general director of the Vietnam Social Security.
Hong is accused of "deliberate violations of state economic management regulations, causing serious consequences."
The other three former senior officials are Nguyen Huy Ban, former general director of VSS, and Tran Tien Vy and Hoang Ha, two former chiefs of the VSS’s Finance and Planning Department.
Two more accomplices are Nguyen Phuoc Tuong, former head of the VSS’s Finance and Planning Department, and Tran Thanh Thuy, a former employee of the planning under the VSS’s Finance and Planning Department.
They are under arrest on the same charge in the second phase of the investigation on Vu Quoc Hao and accomplices.
According to Vietnamese legislation, the VSS can only lend to state-owned commercial banks. However, according to findings, in 2011, when Le Bach Hong was in office, the VSS provided loans to the Financial Leasing Company II (ALC II), which was run by Vu Quoc Hao as general director. The total outstanding loans amounted to over VND1,000 billion (US$43 million).
By the end of 2015, the VSS had not recovered loans made to ALC II totaling VND769 billion (US$33.06 million) and VND735 billion (US$31.60 million) worth of interests.
So far, the loss, including the loans and its interests, have amounted to over VND1,700 billion (US$73.1 million).
Hong was arrested on November 9, 2018, amid a corruption crackdown that has seen scores of senior government officials and executives of state-owned enterprises detained and jailed in recent years.
Le Bach Hong was deputy minister of Labor, Invalids and Social Affairs between 2005 and 2008. In late 2008, he was appointed to general director of the VSS and retired in 2014. Hanoitimes