December 20, 2017 / 5:28 AM / a month ago

Vietnam to prosecute another former oil executive over mismanagement

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam police on Wednesday ordered the prosecution of a former executive at scandal-hit state energy company PetroVietnam over financial losses, the latest move in a high-level corruption crackdown that has seen a politburo member arrested.

Phung Dinh Thuc, a former chairman of PetroVietnam, will be prosecuted for alleged “violation of state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences” while he was in charge of a PetroVietnam solar power plant project, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement posted online.

Thuc is one of two officials that Vietnamese state media had earlier this month reported would be prosecuted. Vietnam’s state-run news agency later apologised for issuing what it said was a false report on the prosecution of the two.

Thuc was not available for comment. PetroVietnam did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

PetroVietnam is at the centre of a high-level corruption crackdown. Former PetroVietnam chairman and also a former member of the communist state’s politburo, Dinh La Thang, 56, was the most senior executive arrested in the scandal.

Police have said they are investigating alleged violations of state rules at PetroVietnam that resulted in an 800 billion dong ($35 million) loss for local lender Ocean Bank.

On Tuesday, the security ministry said Phan Dinh Duc, a member of PetroVietnam’s board of directors, would face prosecution over financial losses.

The corruption crackdown made global headlines in August when Germany accused Vietnam of kidnapping Trinh Xuan Thanh, a former chairman of PetroVietnam’s construction unit, after he applied for asylum in Berlin.

Vietnam has denied kidnapping Thanh and has said he turned himself in. The Communist Party has said Thanh will go on trial in January.

Reporting by Mi Nguyen; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Tom Hogue

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