Vietnam is ready to cooperate with Australian authorities in their investigation of an international pay-to-play currency scandal, the foreign ministry's spokeswoman told the press Thursday.
According to Nguyen Phuong Nga, Australian justice officials notified Vietnam that it had arrested six former officers of the Securency International Pty and Note Printing Australia Ltd., a pair of banknote printing firms.
Last week the Australians were charged with bribing public officials in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam between 1999 and 2005, Bloomberg quoted the Australian Federal Police as saying.
Earlier this year, The Age published an investgative report charging Securency officials with bribing Le Duc Thuy by paying for his child to attend an exclusive British university.
Thuy, Vietnam's former Central Bank governor, currently serves as chairman of the National Finance Supervision Council.
The alleged bribery helped Securency land huge banknote supply contracts worth tens of millions of dollars in Vietnam between 2002 and 2009, the paper reported.
East Sea security
During the press conference on Thursday, Nga also said that Vietnam welcomed all efforts to keep peace and stability in the East Sea. She made the comments in response to a question about the Philippines's request for US help in resolving the East Sea dispute.
She also said that the visit from three US naval ships (set for this July 15-21) is part of the two countries' annual efforts to enhance naval relations through humanitarian activities.
The visit does not amount to a naval exercise, Nga stressed.
According to Nga, East Sea issues will be discussed at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' meetings in Indonesia on July 19-23, because maritime security is a concern for every country.