Ministry of Trade officials held an extraordinary meeting to discuss the case of Le Van Thang, deputy director of the export and import department under the MoT who has been arrested by police on charges of bribe-taking in exchange for allocating garment export quotas.
After this internal meeting, deputy trade minister Phan The Rue said Thang would be temporarily suspended from his position and his Party membership.
The MoT will also sack Bui Hong Minh, a contractual staff of MoT. The cases of two other trade officials allegedly involved in the quota racket, Do Thuy Lan and Nguyen Viet Phu, are pending police enquiries.
It is reported that police are investigating the complicity of Mai Thanh Hai, also an official of the export and import department who happens to be the son of the deputy trade minister Mai Van Dau. A joint venture company accused Hai of taking more than US$100,000 in bribes from the company in order to receive export quotas.
Thang and Minh were accused of allegedly setting up a graft ring, forcing Vietnamese garment and textile exporters to pay bribes to obtain export quotas for the American market, according to police.
Thang, born 1954, was arrested the morning of September 15. After the arrest, police searched his office and house and seized some important documents related to the case, which are said to be sufficient evidence to prove his guilt. Police also took into custody about US$40,000 and 100 million dong as well as expensive jewellery and watches.
The investigation is still ongoing.
[Intellasia legal news]