Vietnam sacks, demotes top cops for state secret law violations

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed the decisions to punish the two officials on Wednesday, 11 days after the Communist Party dismissed them from their Party positions and recommended further disciplinary actions.

Bui Van Thanh has accordingly been dismissed from his position as Deputy Minister of Public Security, while Tran Viet Tan has retroactively lost his title as Deputy Minister of Public Security for the term 2011-2016 for violations previously uncovered by the Party"s inspectors.

The prime minister has also submitted a report to the president asking that Thanh and Tan be demoted from lieutenant general to colonel and colonel general to lieutenant general, respectively.

The decisions to punish Thanh and Tan came after the Party"s Central Inspection Committee reported on their violations and recommended disciplinary actions at a three-day meeting last month.

According to the inspectors, Thanh, as the deputy public security minister responsible for the ministry"s General Department of Logistics-Engineering and as the department"s former general director, had to be held responsible for violations committed by the Standing Committee of the department"s Party unit.

He was found to have violated the principle of democratic centralism principle and shown irresponsibility in leading, managing, inspecting and supervising the department, enabling violations by the unit.

Thanh also violated regulations on protecting state secrets and the ministry"s working regulations, and broke laws in signing documents proposing the sale of several properties and land lots that belonged to the ministry.

He was also found to have signed a decision allowing real estate tycoon Phan Van Anh Vu to travel abroad and requesting a diplomatic passport for him, although the latter was not qualified to get one.

Vu fled Vietnam, dodging an arrest warrant issued against him last December for revealing state secrets. But he was deported by Singapore and arrested upon landing in Vietnam in January. He was sentenced to 9 years in prison for "deliberatly disclosing state secrets" at a closed trial last week.

Inspectors also found that Tan, during his time as member of the Executive Committee of the Public Security Force"s Party unit, had shown irresponsibility in leading, managing, inspecting and supervising the force. He had also signed a number of documents that violated regulations on protecting state secrets.

The Politburo, the Party"s highest decision-making body, subsequently dismissed Thanh from all Party positions and dismissed Tan with retroactive effect from his position as member of the Executive Committee of the Public Security Force"s Party unit for the 2011-2016 term at a meeting on July 28.

This is the latest in a series of dismissals, prosecution and warnings issued against high-ranking officials under a corruption crackdown spearheaded by Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

Trong, 74, has repeatedly said that the momentum of the corruption fight would be maintained, sparing no one.