Vietnam arrests ex-deputy head of economic hub in graft crackdown

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnamese police arrested a former deputy chairman of Ho Chi Minh City, the country’s business hub, on Monday as the communist-ruled country steps up a crackdown on corruption.

Nguyen Huu Tin, 61, was accused of “violating regulations on state asset management and use, causing serious consequences”, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement.

The arrest came as police widen their investigations into the wrongdoings related to a fugitive Vietnamese tycoon, Phan Van Anh Vu, the ministry said.

Vu, who fled to Singapore seeking passage to Germany but was arrested in Vietnam earlier this year, was jailed for nine years in July for deliberate disclosure of state secrets.

The ministry didn’t specify the link between Tin and Vu, but said on Monday that Tin was involved in violations at two land slots in Ho Chi Minh City.

Police also arrested two former officials of the city’s department of natural resources and environment for alleged involvement in the case, the ministry said.

Vietnam is intensifying a crackdown on corruption, following last month’s election of President Nguyen Phu Trong, the Communist Party chief and architect of the crackdown.

Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Nick Macfie