Vietnam’s health minister arrested over COVID test gouging

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnam’s health minister and the mayor of the capital Hanoi have been arrested as a part of an increasing investigation into huge value gouging of COVID-19 assessments, state media reported.

Nguyen Thanh Long was dismissed from his ministry submit and Chu Ngoc Anh, who beforehand was the science minister, was fired as Hanoi mayor, Tuoi Tre on-line information outlet reported Tuesday. They are being investigated for abuse of energy, in keeping with the Ministry of Public Security, and have been expelled from the ruling Communist Party.

An investigation concluded earlier that mismanagement within the science and health ministries had allowed Viet A Technology Corporation to inflate costs for test kits equipped to hospitals and health facilities in Vietnam.

Nearly 60 suspects together with ministry officers, public health leaders and navy generals have been detained or are being investigated for involvement within the value gouging, in keeping with the Ministry of Public Security.

The report stated the 2 officers’ violations had harmed Vietnam’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and have been pricey to the state finances.

A deputy science minister, Pham Cong Tac, additionally was arrested Tuesday and accused of violating laws on managing state property.

Viet A took in $172 million for supplying its test kits in 62 localities. Its common director was arrested in December and allegedly admitted his Ho Chi Minh City-based company had inflated the promoting value of a test package to about $20, or 45% greater than the unique, to earn a distinction of $21.5 million.

Phan Quoc Viet allegedly confessed to investigators that he paid unlawful kickbacks price $34 million to his state-owned companions who purchased his test kits on the inflated costs.

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