A senior Ho Chi Minh City official who lost about US$77,000 in his office’s desk drawer has claimed the money was set aside to buy a house for his son.
Dao Anh Kiet, director of the city Department of Natural Resources and Environment said: “I reported the case to the city Party unit. I have also declared my assets to the city’s anti-corruption agency.”
“This was my savings which I intended to use to buy a house for my son,” Tien Phong newspaper quoted Kiet as saying. “It was only half of the money for the apartment, valued at more than VND3 billion ($141,600).”
He said he reported the case to the police and asked them to keep the case confidential.
A police source told Tien Phong that investigators have obtained footage from a camera at Kiet’s office and another in the agency’s parking lot.
A cleaning woman was recorded carrying a plastic bag out of Kiet’s room and later strapping it to her bike, the source said.
Earlier, local media reported that Kiet told police he'd lost VND1 billion ($47,120) and $30,000 in US currency.
Vietnam’s per capita income was $1,890 last year; the government is currently considering a proposal to raise the minimum monthly wage to VND2.42-VND3.1 million ($114-146) in 2015.
Speaking to VietNamNet on the phone, Kiet asked the news site not to report the case and hesitated to talk about the lost money. This is a “personal matter," he said. "What are you asking for?” “[It’s] not much”, “the press should not cover this.”