Monday, 24 Jun 2019

Vietnamese information minister suspended for role in illegal acquisition

Updated at Monday, 23 Jul 2018, 15:31
The Hanoitimes - This is the first time in years that a sitting minister is being suspended in Vietnam.
Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang has signed a decision to temporarily suspend Minister of Information and Communications (MIC) Truong Minh Tuan for the latter's involvement in a notorious acquisition of a TV pay provider, Vietnam News Agency reported.
The Politburo, ­­the Communist Party of Vietnam’s decision–making body, has concluded disciplinary action implemented for the country's information minister, according to a decision signed by President Tran Dai Quang released today.
Mr. Truong Minh Tuan
Mr. Truong Minh Tuan. Photo: Giang Huy/VnExpress
The minister was involved in the illegal acquisition of TV pay service provider Audio Visual Global (AVG) by the state-owned telecommunications firm Mobifone. As Deputy Minister of Information and Communications during 2011-2016, Tuan signed the decision to approve the deal without the then Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s approval.  
Government inspectors in March this year concluded that the VND8.9-trillion (US$392 million) deal had violated investment laws and caused an estimated loss of about VND7 trillion (US$307 million) to the state budget.
This is the first time in years that a sitting minister is being suspended in Vietnam. 
Tuan now remains being vice head of the Party's Central Propaganda Commission.
Earlier on July 12 the Politburo issued disciplinary warning against Tuan, effectively relieving him from his post as Secretary of the Party Committee of the ministry for the 2016 - 2021 term. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc on July 18 issued an offical warning against Tuan.
Besides, Nguyen Bac Son, Tuan's predecessor minister and secretary of the ministry's Party Committee also faces disciplinary for his role the acquisition of AVG and wrongdoings committed by the Party Committee in the 2011 - 2016 period.
Regarding the Mobifone side, the group’s Chairman Le Nam Tra was expelled from the Communist Party and  arrested for role in the deal, with charges of "violating regulations on the management and use of public capital, causing serious consequences."
Lien Ha
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