September 18, 2017 / 12:26 PM / 5 months ago

Vietnam finds misconduct in city that will host APEC summit

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam’s ruling party watchdog on Monday said it had uncovered misconduct by the top officials in a central city that will host world leaders for an Asia-Pacific summit in November, as the communist state steps up a campaign against corruption.

The report of irregularities in Danang marked a widening of probes that have so far focused largely on banks and state energy firm PetroVietnam. Government critics say internal power struggles also fuel the graft crackdown.

The party’s inspection committee said Nguyen Xuan Anh, party chief of Danang and a member of the party’s central committee, had not set a good example by receiving and using cars and houses provided by companies.

Anh was also accused of dishonesty, incorrect declarations on qualification certificates, violating party standards and imposing personnel that damaged party solidarity, the committee said in a statement on the government’s website.

Reuters could not contact the Danang party offices outside office hours to seek comment on the accusations.

The tourist city of Danang will host world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump, China’s Xi Jinping and Russia’s Vladimir Putin at the summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in November.

The party watchdog did not make any link between its findings and the hosting of the summit, for which roads, meeting halls and a new airport terminal have been built. There has also been major private investment in new hotels.

Punishment of senior officials ahead of major events is unusual in Vietnam and points to the tougher stand against corruption since the security establishment gained greater influence in the party last year.

The committee also found Huynh Duc Tho, Danang city people’s committee chairman, responsible for violations in land management and human resources, adding it had reached the point “where punishment is necessary”.

The people’s committee in Danang could not be reached outside office hours to seek comment.

The committee also recommended action against the chairman, former chairman and senior officials of state chemical group Vinachem over reports of mismanagement that caused losses.

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Matthew Tostevin and Clarence Fernandez

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