Hanoi chairman dismissed over Covid test kit scam

Created 07 June 2022
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Hanoi chairman Chu Ngoc Anh was dismissed from his position by the Hanoi People’s Council on Tuesday for his involvement in a Covid-19 test kit scam.

Hanoi chairman dismissed over Covid test kit scam

This is the second time in two years that a Hanoi chairman was dismissed from his position. Anh’s predecessor, Nguyen Duc Chung, was dismissed after being arrested in September 2020 due to multiple criminal cases.

Previously on Monday, And and former health minister Nguyen Thanh Long were expelled from the Communist Party for their culpability in a Covid-19 test kit scam. Long was dismissed from his position as Minister of Health on Tuesday morning.

Chu Ngoc Anh, 57, is a Hanoi native. From April 2016 to September 2020, he served as Minister of Science and Technology. In September 2020, he was elected as Hanoi chairman, replacing Chung. He was tasked with leading Hanoi as the capital city struggled with the Covid-19 pandemic. During his 1.5-year tenure as Hanoi chairman, Anh completed the final pieces of capital planning by approving the Red River and Duong River subdivision plans, as well as Hanoi's underground space. The city recorded nearly 3 percent economic growth in 2021.

The Party's Central Inspection Committee last month had proposed that the decision-making Politburo considers disciplinary action against the Party Committee of the Ministry of Science and Technology during the 2016-2021 period, the Party Committee of the Ministry of Health during 2016-2021.

The Politburo and the Secretariat concluded that Anh and Long, who led the ministries during the period, had violated the Party and the State's regulations, "causing severe consequences, losses to the money and assets of the State, undermining the Covid-19 fight, causing social unrest and affecting the reputation of the Party, the health ministry and science ministry."

The Central Inspection Committee had said in March that the Party Committee and officials of the health and science ministries in the 2016-2021 term had been negligent in their management, allowing violations at the ministries and their units regarding the approval, management and sale of Covid-19 test kits.

Phan Quoc Viet, general director of Viet A, admitted in January that he had inflated the price of a Covid-19 test kit by 45 percent and sent around VND800 billion ($35.2 million) as "bonuses" to company partners. Viet said he had bribed certain individuals in this regard.

Several officials including high-ranking military generals and directors of provincial branches of the Center for Diseases Control have been arrested or placed under criminal investigation for their involvement in the case.

 

Source: VNE

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