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Vietnam Today

Deputy Minister resigns

Released at: 10:19, 02/08/2017

Deputy Minister resigns

Ms. Ho Thi Kim Thoa (L) and Mr. Trinh Xuan Thanh. Photo: moit.gov.vn

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa accused of wrongdoings in former position.

by Quang Huy

A source from the Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) confirmed with local media on August 2 that the ministry received a letter of resignation from Deputy Minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa on August 1, the same day the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission said the former executive of electricity company Dien Quang Lamp should be sacked from her position as deputy minister as it continues its crackdown on corruption.

Ms. Thoa may lose all her positions at the ministry after the Central Inspection Commission found her responsible for several wrongdoings at Dien Quang and in the illegal appointment of a wanted former official.

Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Do Thang Hai will temporarily cover Ms. Thoa’s tasks at the ministry.

Ms. Thoa approved the appointment of former PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corp. Chairman and ex-provincial leader Trinh Xuan Thanh, who police said turned himself in on July 31 after a ten-month international manhunt.

The Communist Party expelled Mr. Thanh last year for his alleged wrongdoings while at the company and in a provincial leadership position, while the inspection commission said Ms. Thoa violated rules on land, equitization, share transfers, and asset declarations.

She worked for 18 years at Dien Quang, where she was CEO and Chairwoman, before leaving to become a Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade in 2010.

The commission said that while holding the position of Party Committee Secretary and CEO of Dien Quang, Ms. Thoa violated regulations and procedures on equitization and wrongly handled loan interest exemptions totaling VND6.7 billion ($298,000) from January 2004 to May 2010.

She also violated State regulations on land management when the company signed a contract with another company to invest in land at 12 Ton Dan Street in Ho Chi Minh City, while failing to properly handle revenue of VND30 billion ($1.3 million) from transferring the land use rights.

In a third violation, she bought more shares than permitted and her transfer of shares violated company regulations.

Shares in Dien Quang, where some of Ms. Thoa’s relatives are still key stakeholders, in addition to the Canada-based Enterprise Capital Management, have fallen about 40 per cent since October 2016, when the inspection commitssion began looking into her case.

A number of former senior officials of State-owned companies and units of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) are facing years in prison for corruption offences uncovered during the probe. Earlier this year, a senior party official, who once headed PetroVietnam, was demoted and expelled from the politburo.

“Publicity is very important,” Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong was quoted as saying on July 31 in regard to the corruption crackdown.

The Commission also proposed discipline against the Steering Committee for the Southwest Region and its former and current leaders, and the Party Committee’s Standing Board of the Vietnam National Chemical Group (Vinachem) and its current and former leaders, for violations in personnel and financial management that resulted in losses of State funds and property.

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