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Jul 27, 2019 / 13:32

More than 70 Vietnamese senior officials punished since 2016

Most of high-ranking officials were punished for corruption charges, indicating the party`s determination to fight graft.

More than 70 high-ranking officials under the management of Vietnam’s Politburo and Secretariat (the most powerful bodies in the country) have been punished over the past three years for wrongdoings. 
President Nguyen Phu Trong at the meeting in Hanoi on July 26. Photo: VNA
Party General Secretary and President Nguyen Phu Trong at the meeting in Hanoi on July 26. Photo: VNA
The punishments include criminal penalties and party disciplines which embrace four grades namely reprimand, warning, demotion and expulsion, local media reported, citing a meeting of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption (CSCA).
Those who were subject to the punishments include Politburo members, a deputy prime minister, ministers, and high-profile officials of armed forces, statistics at the meeting on July 26 showed. 
In the first half this year, relevant agencies probed 425 defendants for corruption charges, up 32.8% on year. 
More than 7,900 party members have been disciplined between January and June, including incumbent and retired officials. 
The figures somewhat proved the statement that “there’s no exception in cracking down on corruption” reiterated by General Secretary of the Communist Party of Vietnam and President Nguyen Phu Trong, who is also head of the CSCA.
Relevant agencies have also audited and proposed retrieving 142 hectares of land and VND61.39 trillion (US$2.66 billion) since January 2016. 
Anti-corruption bodies in Vietnam
Vietnam does not have a specialized corruption prevention body. Preventing corruption is the mandate of all agencies, organizations, units and socio-economic organizations, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The CSCA is the advisory agency of the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV) in leading and steering anti-corruption work.
Headed by Secretary General of the CPV, the committee is responsible for directing, coordinating, monitoring and urging anticorruption efforts all over the country, especially in severe and complicated cases.
Currently, a common anti-corruption database has not been developed, thus Vietnam has to cope with a number of difficulties in monitoring, assessing and summing up progresses of the implementation of anti-corruption laws as well as anticorruption work, said the UNODC.
In addition, the methods of conducting the dissemination and propaganda of anti-corruption laws are still simple, unidirectional, lack of creativeness, together with the absence of an effective communication strategy, which lead to the misunderstanding of the citizens, business and public servants and officials on those laws and the state anticorruption efforts.