31st Sea Games - Vietnam 2021 Covid-19 Pandemic
Nov 04, 2020 / 10:57

Vietnam officials in hot water ahead of National Party Congress

Vietnam's State president has reiterated the need to fight against corruption to regain the public's trust.

Two senior officials of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) have been proposed to be punished due to their violations in the banking sector and the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MOIT) years ago.

  Nguyen Van Binh, head of the CPV’s Economic Commission. Photo: Ngoc Thang

Mr. Nguyen Van Binh, member of the Politburo – the CPV’s most powerful body, and Ho Thi Kim Thoa, former deputy minister of the MOIT, will be punishable following the conclusion released by the CPV’s Central Inspection Commission on Tuesday.

The commission proposed the Politburo to discipline Mr. Binh, 59, for his mismanagement when he was governor of the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV), the country’s central bank, from August 2011 to April 2016.

The party's disciplines embrace four grades namely reprimand, warning, demotion and expulsion.

No specific grade has been proposed for Mr. Binh yet.

When he took office, Vietnam’s banking system faced with multiple risks such as a high level of bad debt, rampant cross ownership, two-digit inflation, double-digit interest rates exceeding 20%, growing dollarization and ‘goldenization,’ among others.

Under his management, there were several controversial decisions made in the banking system like the forced acquisition of three weak banks at zero cost, meaning that the SBV converted these banks into 100% state-owned limited banks without paying to their shareholders.

From 2016 to present, Mr. Binh heads the CPV’s Central Economic Commission.

Ho Thi Kim Thoa, deputy minister of Industry and Trade in 2010-2017. Photo: Q.D 

Meanwhile, Ho Thi Kim Thoa, 60, who was deputy minister of MOIT in 2010-2017, is proposed to be expelled from the Party for her wrongdoing in managing and using a prime land lot in Ho Chi Minh City's downtown District 1.

On July 10, 2020, the Ministry of Public Security launched an investigation into her and applied precautionary measures to prevent her from fleeing the country for “violating regulations on managing and using state assets, causing losses.”

Three days later, Ms. Thoa reportedly escaped from residence and she is now under wanted notice by the police.

Dr. Cao Vu Minh from Ho Chi Minh City University of Law said many accused and defendants of economic offenses in Vietnam had escaped before being probed, triggering a question on whether they had known possible legal proceedings might happen to them later on.

In 2016, Ms. Thoa had been reprimanded by the party’s Central Inspection Committee for violations in holding the post of chairman of Dien Quang Lamp JSC during 2004-2010.

Ms. Thoa had been working at Dien Quang for 18 years and her family held more than a combined 23% stake at this famous company. In 2016, she was one of the richest women in Vietnam in terms of securities value.

Another senior official who is subject to be punished is former MOIT minister Vu Huy Hoang. However, no punishment decision has been made since he is terminally ill.

Secretary General of the CPV and State President Nguyen Phu Trong has reiterated the need to fight against corruption and punish officials no matter who they are to make the Party healthy and to regain the public’s trust.