The press on August 18 said that former Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long received $2.25 million in the Viet A case. This is a huge number, but not surprising. Because ministers ussually take bribery of million dollar once. In the role of Minister of Health, Mr. Nguyen Thanh Long received money to facilitate Viet A Company to register for circulation of test kits, even though he was not eligible.
The first time, General Director of Viet A Company Phan Quoc Viet gave a bribe to Mr. Long’s Secretary around December 2020. It is known that Phan Quoc Viet called via Whatsapp application to Chief Secretary Nguyen Huynh, and was invited by this Secretary to meet at his home in Tay Ho district, Hanoi. After that, Viet brought a blue cloth bag with the logo of Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (with $200,000 inside prepared in advance) to wait at Huynh’s door.
The investigating agency said that the total amount of money that Phan Quoc Viet spent to bribe former Minister Nguyen Thanh Long amounted to $2.25 million. In which, Viet gave Nguyen Huynh $2.2 million to transfer to Mr. Nguyen Thanh Long, and directly Viet gave the former minister $50,000.
Most officials don’t accept money directly, no one would be foolish enough to do so. They receive through a secretary or someone they know, entrusted to receive the money. In the case of Mr. Nguyen Thanh Long, there was a direct reception, which was very careless. The question is, will the police investigate or not.
In the recent rescue flight, public opinion also questioned the case of Pham Trung Kien, Secretary of Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen. Pham Trung Kien received bribes 253 times from 18 individuals and 62 groups of retail guests, with a total amount of more than VND42.6 billion. It is worth mentioning that Pham Trung Kien does not have the authority to sign the decision to carry out the rescue flights. Just by looking at the surface, you know who Pham Trung Kien received money for. However, Do Xuan Tuyen escaped the crime and was not probed.
The difference between the case of Nguyen Thanh Long and Do Xuan Tuyen, is due to the hands of the investigating agency only. The Ministry of Public Security makes the case arbitrarily. With the same crime, the same way of committing the same crime, but some people get hit, others get away with the sentence.
In 2013, compared with the international, Vice Chairman of the Judiciary Committee at that time, Mr. Nguyen Dinh Quyen, said that the Vietnamese investigative agency was one of the best in the world, solving cases very quickly. Perhaps, the Vietnamese police are the best in the real world, because only the Vietnamese police are good at making false accusations, good at leaving criminals, good at forcing corporal punishment, etc., so that unjust judgments like in the cases of Ho Duy Hai, Nguyen Van Chuong, etc…
In the case of Pham Trung Kien, perhaps it would be more correct to “praise” the Hung Yen interest group. A secretary has no authority to sign a decision, but accepts huge amounts of bribes, and then manipulates the boss to sign it. However, the Ministry of Public Security did not realize this questionable point, and still let the Deputy Minister escaped from being punished.
The Viet A case will also be brought to trial. This is also a case where the judge robs the prosecuted persons by getting their bribery in exchange of lighter sentences. Nguyen Thanh Long received a large amount of bribes, he must be preparing money to get a reduced sentence. Mr. Long had got large bribery, now someone else will take his money.
It is also bittersweet for Nguyen Thanh Long, he and his deputy – Do Xuan Tuyen – work in the same agency, earn the same food and have the same way of receiving money, but now, he was in prison, and his deputy was still the “respectable” Deputy Minister. Perhaps, Nguyen Thanh Long should blame himself that he was not in the same fraction of the incumbent Minister of Public Security.