Another official arrested in Japanese bribery probe

By Thai Son, Thanh Nien News

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Construction has been delayed at the Urban Railway No.1 in Hanoi after a Japan company was accused of bribing Vietnamese officials to win its contract. Photo by Ngoc Thang

Investigators at the Ministry of Public Security on Friday arrested the sixth railway official allegedly involving in a US$782,000 bribery at a Japan-aided project.
Nguyen Van Hieu, 52, director of the Railway Project Management Unit (RPMU) at the Vietnam Railways (VR), the state-owned operator of the railway system in Vietnam, was arrested on charge of power abuse. Police also searched his house in Hanoi.
His predecessor Tran Van Luc, who held the position between 2000 and 2009, was arrested the day earlier under the same charge.
On May 3, four other RPMU officials, including a vice director, were arrested as part of the investigation, which was launched last month after a report by Japan’s Yomiuri newspaper said a Japanese company allegedly paid Vietnamese railway officials 80 million yen ($782,000) to win a 4.2 billion yen ($41 million) contract.
The March 20 report said the company also allegedly bribed Indonesia and Uzbekistan officials some 20 million yen to receive ODA projects in their area.

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