August 16, 2017 / 6:30 AM / 2 years ago

Vietnam fires vice minister amid corruption crackdown

HANOI, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Vietnam fired a vice trade minister on Wednesday for wrongdoings at electricity firm Dien Quang Lamp, the government and state media said, amid a wider crackdown on corruption.

Deputy trade minister Ho Thi Kim Thoa lost all her positions at the ministry after the Central Inspection Committee found her responsible, state media said.

Public denouncements and dismissals of high-ranking officials are rare in the one-party state but have become more frequent since last year as the party moves to tackle corruption, especially at inefficient state-owned enterprises.

The inspection committee said Thoa violated rules on land, privatisation, share transfer and asset declaration.

Thoa also approved the appointment of former PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corp chairman and ex-provincial leader Trinh Xuan Thanh, state media said.

Police said Thanh, suspected of corruption and causing around $150 million in losses at PetroVietnam (PVN), turned himself in after a 10-month international manhunt, but Germany accused Vietnam of kidnapping him from Berlin.

Some former top officials of state-owned companies have been accused of corruption and could face years of imprisonment if convicted. Earlier this year, a top party official, who once headed PVN, was demoted and expelled from the powerful politburo. (Reporting by Mi Nguyen; Editing by Nick Macfie)

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