February 21, 2024

A court in Vietnam has sentenced a former Health Minister, Nguyen Thanh Long, to 18 years in prison in connection with a Coronavirus test kit scandal.

He was sentenced on Friday, January 12, after being found guilty of accepting bribes of more than 51 billion VND (US$2.1 million), Reuters reports.

Long’s secretary, Nguyen Huynh, also received a nine-year sentence. While former Minister of Science and Technology Chu Ngoc Anh was sentenced to three years in prison, VNExpress reports.

Former Hai Duong Provincial Party Committee Secretary Pham Xuan Thang received a five-year term, the report added.

They were prosecuted in connection with the Viet A scandal, which involved the company’s chief executive officer bribing officials the equivalent of US$34 million to win contracts to sell substandard kits to hospitals at a 45% markup, earning his company US$172 million in profits.

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