Vietnamese diplomat flees to US during official trip

Thanh Nien News

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A senior foreign affairs official from the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho escaped into the United States during an official trip to Canada.
Days later, he submitted an official resignation through the mail.
Tuoi Tre newspaper reported on Tuesday that Tran Ngoc Phi Long, deputy head of the international relations division for Can Tho's Foreign Affairs Department, separated himself from a delegation visiting Canada in early July and entered the US.
Pham The Vinh, director of the department, said he is working on the case with local authorities.
Tran Phuoc Son, deputy director of Can Tho Department of the Interior, said Vinh had recommended Long when the Vietnam Union of Friendship Organizations asked for a Can Tho representative to participate in a friendly trip to Canada.
Son said the authorities have yet to determine Long’s purpose in fleeing.
Long was among 150 select officials that Can Tho once sent overseas to earn master's degrees.
Tuoi Tre said his education cost the city around VND300 million (US$14,100).

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