Vietnam public security ministry arrests assistant of National Assembly chairman News
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Vietnam public security ministry arrests assistant of National Assembly chairman

Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security on Monday arrested Pham Thai Ha, assistant to the country’s National Assembly chairman.

Pham was arrested and detained in Hanoi, Vietnam on charges of “abusing positions and powers to influence others for personal gain,’ according to provisions of Clause 4, Article 358 of the 2015 Penal Code (amended in 2017),” the Ministry of Public Security said. The ministry proceeded with prosecuting Ha on Sunday and the Supreme People’s Procuracy of Vietnam approved this decision on Monday. The ministry also issued search warrants for Ha’s home and place of work.

Pham’s arrest is linked to an extensive investigation involving bribery with the Thuận An Group Joint Stock Company (Thuận An Group). Established in 2004, the group is owned by Nguyen Duy Hung and specializes in construction, real estate business and investment. On April 15, 2024, Hung and other senior executives were arrested for bribery. Ha’s arrest is part of a wider issue of corruption and power abuse in Vietnam.

Known as the “Blazing Furnace”, several Vietnamese state officials and well-known executives have been prosecuted or forced to resign. The anti-corruption campaign is led by the Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong. Since January 2021, 1,400 party organizations have been reprimanded, and just last year, four deputy prime ministers resigned. However, the Blazing Furnace has been met with concerns and some believe that it may remove trust and confidence in the Communist Party’s governance.

Pham was appointed as the National Assembly assistant to Chairman Vương Đình Huệ in May 2022. The National Assembly is Vietnam’s “highest representation” of the people and an influential authority in the socialist republic. Vương Đình Huệ has been the current chairman of the National Assembly’s Legislature XV since March 13, 2021. Vương has also been Secretary of the Hanoi Party Committee since February 7, 2020.