Transport official arrested in Japanese bribery probe

By Duc Hoa - Thai Son - Mai Ha, Thanh Nien News

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Tran Van Luc, director of the Project Management Unit at the Railway Department, at a ceremony to launch of a railway project in Hanoi. Photo: Mai Ha
A Vietnamese senior railway official has been arrested as part of an investigation into bribe allegations involving Japanese aids, a police source told Thanh Nien Thursday.
Tran Van Luc, director of the Project Management Unit under the Railway Department, was alleged of abusing power in execution of his duty.
His arrest followed that of four officials of Vietnam Railways (VR), the state-owned operator of the railway system in Vietnam, on May 3.
One of them, VR vice general director Tran Quoc Dong, was alleged of "negligence of responsibility, causing serious consequences," according to the police. The other three officials were accused of abusing power in execution of their duty.
Police launched an investigation into the case last month after Japan's Yomiuri newspaper reported that a Japanese company had paid 80 million yen (US$782,000) to get a contract worth 4.2 billion yen ($41 million) in Vietnam.
According to the report, which was published in March, President Tamio Kakinuma of the Tokyo-based company Japan Transportation Consultants (JTC) Inc. alleged that JTC paid cash in return for a rail project funded by Japan’s Official Development Assistance (ODA).
Luc was director of the project management unit at Vietnam Railways between 2000 and 2009 before being appointed to the Railway Department – an agency under the Ministry of Transport.
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