HANOI (Reuters) - A senior Vietnamese police official was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of involvement in an international gambling ring, the police ministry said.
The case is part of a widespread corruption crackdown in Communist party-ruled Vietnam that has now extended beyond the energy and banking sectors to provincial levels and the public security force.
Police issued an order for the arrest of Nguyen Thanh Hoa, 60, accused by prosecutors of organizing gambling, the ministry statement said, adding the move was part of an online gambling and money laundering case.
“This is a particularly large scale case, using high technology, especially serious, complex and sensitive, involving many people, many sectors and provinces, involving officials within the police,” State-run radio Voice of Vietnam news website cited the Party’s secretariat as saying on Sunday.
Local state-controlled media VnExpress and Tuoi Tre News website said Hoa was a former head of the police’s high-technology department. Hoa was also stripped off his “people’s police” title by the nation’s president on Sunday, the ministry said.
Vietnam’s anti-graft push caught international attention last year when Germany accused the Southeast Asian nation of kidnapping a Vietnamese official from a Berlin park in scenes reminiscent of the Cold War. The man was eventually handed two life sentences for embezzlement.
The crackdown has also resulted in a 13-year prison term for a former politburo member, Dinh La Thang, and a death sentence for a former chairman of state energy firm PetroVietnam. Dozens of other officials received jail terms.
Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by William Maclean