Worthy of note is Vietnam’s largest swindler case ever in which Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu, a bank official in HCM City, misappropriated nearly VND4,000 billion from a host of banks and organisations.
More notoriously, however, is the case of Duong Chi Dung, former chairman of the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines), and his accomplices who stood trial in Hanoi on charges of embezzlement and State mismanagement.
In yet another case, Haiphong city’s former police boss Duong Tu Trong stood trial in Hanoi on charges of assisting his brother, Dung, to flee abroad.
In the courtroom, Dung made an extraordinarily earth-shaking statement that he had also bribed a senior police official to assist him with the case.
The police official was alleged to have received a large amount of money in US currency from Dung to help him escape from charges and flee before the warrant was issued.
If Dung’s statement is verified, the government has announced its intentions to prosecute the senior police official on charges of leaking State secrets.
Those who have followed the trials have mixed feelings. They are happy because are keenly aware that the trials unequivocally demonstrate the Party and State’s strong commitment to root out corruption.
Death sentences have been given to two corrupt officials since the first death sentence was handed down on Tran Du Chau, head of the Logistics Department under the Ministry of National Defence, in 1950 on the same charge.
However, people still have their doubts given the confessions during the Dung trial and the fact that the police have such close contact with criminal gangs. If the allegations are true, people will not know who to trust.
People are legitimately concerned about the complex relations between criminals and high ranking officials, given that corruption cases are extremely difficult to uncover as well as prosecute. There is no denying that once such relationships develop, the parties will continue to do harm to the nation.
Money and greed plus a lax management could lead people of conscience to crime. Happy family relationships break up because many of their members, including ranking officials, commit crime.
People are demanding that legal loopholes be tightened, or there will be more similar corruption cases in the future.
People need to feel more confident that the bad, no matter who they are or how they are aided and abetted, will be brought to justice and that there is ‘no safety zone’ in the corruption fight.