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Vietnam Arrests Former Deputy Minister In Anti-Graft Purge

A former deputy minister of trade in Vietnam who oversaw the nation’s growth of renewable energy was taken into custody by police on Thursday as the communist government stepped up its campaign against corruption.

Hoang Quoc Vuong, who served as the deputy minister of industry and commerce from 2010 to 2012 and again from 2015 to 2020, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly “abusing power while performing official duty,” according to a statement from the police that did not provide further details.

According to state media, Vuong rejoined the ministry of industry and commerce in 2012 after serving as deputy trade minister for the first time. He then served as board chairman of Vietnam’s state-owned electric utility, EVN, for three years.

 

He was in charge of power, renewable energy, the environment, and sustainable development during his second spell.

On January 1st of this year, he retired from his role as chairman of Vietnam Oil and Gas Group, as stated on the official government website.

Due to their suspected malfeasance during the construction of solar, wind, and other fuel supply projects, the ruling Communist Party of Vietnam included Vuong and several other senior trade ministry officials on a list for disciplinary review last month.

Do Thang Hai, the deputy commerce minister, was also on that list and was detained by police last month for his role in misconduct at an oil trading company.

In order to assist Vietnam in moving away from fossil fuels, a group of wealthy countries promised last year to raise at least $15.5 billion. Vietnam has committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

However, the government has showed little interest in hearing from alternative voices on environmental matters and does not tolerate any challenge to its one-party rule. Instead, opponents face intimidation, harassment, and mobility restrictions.

Vietnam has intensified its anti-graft campaign against dishonest public servants and wealthy businesspeople in recent years.

Strong Communist Party Secretary General Nguyen Phu Trong, who called for the purge to proceed “faster and in a more efficient manner” in November, has been driving the sweep.

More than 3,500 people have been indicted across more than 1,300 graft cases since 2021.

 

Written by PH

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