Vu Duc Dam lessons and incomplete anti-corruption policy in Vietnam

For a long time in Vietnam, Mr. Vu Duc Dam, former Deputy Prime Minister, is a remarkable phenomenon in the political arena. Most of the population sympathized with this young and educated statesman.


Considered as one of the Vietnamese leaders in the “Western learning” group, well-trained from the West, but also limited in promotion. The fact that he was a member of the Central Committee of the Party for many years, but was still not seeded for the Politburo, so many people regret a talented person in Vietnamese politics.


Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Vu Duc Dam was still highly appreciated by the Vietnamese public as a young, energetic and capable politician.


During the Covid-19 pandemic, the image of Mr. Vu Duc Dam – Head of the Central Steering Committee for COVID-19 Prevention and Control – bowing his head, walking in a worried mood, was shared and praised by many people. It is known that this image was captioned, Mr. Dam had just left an emergency meeting of the Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, on the sidelines of the 13th Party National Congress.

However, there are also opinions that Vu Duc Dam is very good at building public images. Once in Vietnam, people believed, and even honored Vu Duc Dam as a “living Buddhist” as a real story.


Boddhist Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, for the country for the people


Therefore, on November 30, 2022, when the Ministry of Public Security issued a notice to probe and arrest Nguyen Van Trinh, the assistant to then Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, the public was very surprised.

At the same time, the Ministry of Public Security issued a decision for house search for Mr. Nguyen Van Trinh, on the charge of “abusing positions and powers while performing official duties” as prescribed in Clause 3, Article 356 of the Criminal Code.

At that time, there began to appear a stream of opinions from knowledgeable people who said that Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam could not be innocent. People also revealed the truth about why, for a long time, supporters of Mr. Vu Duc Dam were still skeptical that Mr. Dam was not included in the Politburo’s personnel planning, or a higher personnel plan for the Four highest leader positions.


Most recently, in the investigation conclusion of C03, the Ministry of Public Security determined that, at the request of Phan Quoc Viet, General Director of Viet A Company, defendant Nguyen Van Trinh, former assistant to the DPM, intervened, helping Viet A in the process of researching the topic of test kits, in order to get the registration for circulation and consumption by the Ministry of Health. Accordingly, accused Trinh intervened and directed the Ministry of Health to issue documents, creating favorable conditions for Viet A Company to make registration documents for its low-quality test kits.

After that, Trinh also directed Nguyen Huynh, then secretary of then Health Minister Nguyen Thanh Long, to introduce and help Viet A to verify the quality of the test kit as a basis for making a dossier registration of circulation to the Ministry of Health. In addition, Nguyen Van Trinh also directed functional departments of the Ministry of Health to complete the dossier, so that the Ministry of Health would issue a registration for the circulation of test kits for Viet A.

More seriously, C03 of the Ministry of Public Security also determined that accused Trinh intervened and influenced Viet A to get the Ministry of Health to use funding from banks to pay for the purchase of 200,000 test kits. The test kit costs VND470,000/kit, while the actual value of a test kit is only VND143,000.

In August 2020, after Viet A was cleared by banks to pay for the order of 200,000 test kits purchased by the Ministry of Health, in order to “thank” for the support from Nguyen Van Trinh, Phan Quoc Viet gave him $200,000 (equivalent to more than VND4.5 billion).


In the two cases of “rescue flight” and “Viet A,” there were many cases where secretaries received bribes, but their direct superiors were innocent. They are: defendant Pham Trung Kien, Assistant to Deputy Minister of Health Do Xuan Tuyen, received a bribe of VND42.6 billion; Nguyen Van Trinh, former Assistant to Deputy Prime Minister Vu Duc Dam, received $200,000; Nguyen Quang Linh, former assistant to former Deputy Prime Minister Pham Binh Minh, received more than VND4.2 billion in bribes.

That makes the public wonder, why are the secretaries of senior leaders “recklessly” taking bribes, bypassing their heads, or are they forced to do scarify for their bosses?

It should be clarified, whether the defendants, who are secretaries and assistants, such as Pham Trung Kien, Nguyen Van Trinh, Nguyen Quang Linh, have shared the amounts they received as bribery with their direct leaders or not. This is not at all difficult to investigate.

Like the case of defendant Nguyen Huynh, former Secretary of then Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long, as an intermediary to receive money from Phan Quoc Viet of VND56 billion. In the conclusion of the investigation has shown very clearly, Secretary Huynh had handed over to his boss almost all of it.

Until now, public opinion is still wondering, whether or not the upper limit policy is under the direction of the Central Anti-Corruption Agency? This agency does not allow authorities to prosecute from a higher level than the minister, namely from the Deputy Prime Minister and above. If so, then obviously, fighting corruption in Vietnam is just incomplete campaign “showering from the shoulders down.”


The public wondered why the General Secretary repeatedly affirmed to the people, “fighting corruption has no forbidden zones, no exceptions.” The public has the right to ask questions, to ignore the prosecution of senior leaders, from the Deputy Prime Ministers and higher officials, what is the “private area” or “avoidance area,” General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong? /.


Tra My –