Citing information from the Ministry of Public Security, Vietnam’s state-controlled media on January 7, 2022, reported that Viet A Company inflated the price of COVID-19 test kits by about 45% and gave bribes to “partners” VND800 billion ($34.7 million). The ministry said the figures were based on the testimony of Mr. Phan Quoc Viet – General Director of Viet A Company. However, the news did not specify who the “partners” received the bribe.
Viet A Company is a company that has been praised by the state-controlled media in 2020 for making Vietnam’s first COVID-19 test kit with a registration number issued by the Ministry of Health. Even the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam gave false information that this test kit was approved by WHO.
The case was determined to be serious and on December 29, 2021, was placed under the supervision and direction of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption of the Communist Party of Vietnam.
According to a police investigation, Viet A Company has supplied test kits to the Centers for Disease Control (CDCs) and other medical facilities of 62 provinces and cities across the country with a revenue of nearly VND4 trillion.
Up to now, the investigating agency has issued a decision to probe the case and probe 19 defendants for the crimes of “violating regulations on bidding, causing serious consequences,” “Give a bribe, Take a bribe,” and “Abusing positions and powers while performing official duties.” Among these are two leaders of Viet A Company, Phan Quoc Viet and Vu Dinh Hiep, who were probed for the crime of “Bribery” while Pham Duy Tuyen – Director of CDC Hai Duong was probed for the crime of “Receiving bribes” with an amount of up to VND27 billion.
In addition, three leaders from the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Science and Technology were probed for the crime of “abusing positions and powers in the performance of official duties.”
The Investigative Police Agency also determined that “Some leaders and officials of the Center for Disease Control of Nghe An Province (CDC Nghe An) and the Center for Disease Control of Binh Duong Province (CDC Binh Duong) colluded, collaborated with Phan Quoc Viet and related subjects of Viet A Company, Vietnam Application Technology Development Co., Ltd (VNDAT Company) violated the provisions of the Law on Bidding when organizing bidding to purchase materials to prevent and control the COVID-19 epidemic, causing particularly serious consequences.”