Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang has signed decisions on downgrading two police generals after the government stripped them of the deputy minister title due to their multiple wrongdoings, including violating regulations on protecting state secrets.
Bui Van Thanh (L) and Tran Viet Tan
As per the decisions that take immediate effect, Tran Viet Tan will be demoted from colonel general to lieutenant general while Bui Van Thanh will be downgraded by two notches from lieutenant general to colonel, according to the government portal.
Just a day before, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed decisions to punish the two officials, nearly two weeks after the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam sacked them from all their Party positions and asked for further disciplinary actions.
Tran Viet Tan, 63, accordingly lost his post as deputy minister of the Ministry of Public Security for the 2011-2016 term due to violations previously found by the Party's Inspection Committee, and Bui Van Thanh, 59, faced the similar punishment.
The decisions to punish Tan and Thanh came after the Party's Central Inspection Committee concluded that both had to be held accountable for their violations, including infringement of regulations on protecting state secrets.
According to the Central Inspection Committee’s conclusions, Thanh signed documents proposing the sale of several properties and land lots that belonged to the ministry against the law.
He was also found to have signed a decision allowing businessman Phan Van Anh Vu, who was reported to be a senior lieutenant colonel, to join delegations traveling abroad and requesting a diplomatic passport for him, also against the law.
After a failed attempt to flee Vietnam late in December 2017, Vu was deported by Singaporean authorities and detained upon arriving in Vietnam in early January. He was last month sentenced to 9 years in jail for "deliberately disclosing state secrets" at a closed one-day trial.
Major General Le Van Cuong, former director of the Strategic Studies Institute under the Ministry of Public Security, told local media that Thanh’s demotion by two grades is a special case and the first time recorded in the ministry’s history.
Disciplinary actions against Bui Ban Thanh and Tran Vet Tan demonstrate high resolve of the Party, the State, and the Public Ministry Party Committee in the fight against corruption and violations in the police force, regardless of violators’ high rankings.