Health ministry to review accusations against official

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Vietnam's health ministry will look into recent accusations against a deputy minister, Saigon Giai Phong quoted the health minister as saying Sunday.

Deputy Minister Cao Minh Quang is now facing accusations that he had made false statement of his qualifications and age, and abused power to ask the local BV Pharma Joint-Venture Company to lend him VND1 billion (US$48,000).

According to Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien, the accusations related to Quang's qualifications was filed by Ngo Minh Nho, a war veteran in Ho Chi Minh City, at the central govoernment police.

Saigon Giai Phong quoted Tien as saying that the police sent a response letter to Nho, but did not send it to the health ministry.

In a report on Friday, VnExpress news website quoted the police as saying that Sweden-based Uppsala University, where Quang claimed to have earn a doctorate degree, in fact only granted him a certificate for his research about natural drugs.

The certificate, granted in October 1994, was a requirement for one to attend a doctorate course under the school's regulations, the website quoted Uppsala University as saying.

According to VnExpress, the education ministry's department of examinations and education quality testing also denied accusations that a former deputy education minister had certified that Quang's Uppsala certification's value was equal to a doctorate degree.

In the meantime, Tuoi Tre on Monday reported that concerned agencies are also clarifying accusations that Quang made inconsistent statements about his age in some documentaries he said he was born in 1953, but in others he stated that he was born in 1956.

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Earlier this month, Nguyen Quoc Dung, director general of the BV Pharma Joint-Venture Company, had sent a letter to the health ministry, accusing Quang of abusing power to ask his company to lend him VND1 billion in 2007.

However, Quang later denied Dung's accusations in an interview with Tuoi Tre, saying that he had paid up the debt in 2008.

Quang, who took office in 2007, received a warning once in 2009 from the Communist Party's Central Inspection Committee for wrongly accusing US firm Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) of unethical lobbying for cervical cancer vaccine Gardasil in 2008.

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