The man is at the center of a probe into nearly $150 million of losses at a state firm.
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A senior Vietnamese official wanted on an international warrant is believed to have flown to Europe, amid an investigation into losses of nearly $150 million at a state-owned company that he once ran.
Dinh The Huynh, a senior Communist Party official, said that Trinh Xuan Thanh, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Construction Joint Stock Company (PVC), could flee because local authorities did not force him to do so. this man or take measures to closely monitor him.
Huynh's statement marked the first time a senior official spoke more specifically about Thanh's whereabouts.On September 16, the Ministry of Public Security announced that it had issued an international arrest warrant for Thanh.
Huynh, a member of the Politburo decision-making and de facto number two of the Party, spoke to his constituents in the central city of Da Nang on Tuesday.(In Vietnam, the top leaders, including the Party chief, the President and the Prime Minister, also act as elected legislators.)
Thanh is accused of mismanagement and causing losses of around VND3.2 trillion ($147 million) at PVC, a unit of state-owned oil and gas group PetroVietnam, under his supervision from 2011 to 2013.Four other company executives were arrested.
Thanh applied for sick leave overseas in mid-August and has never returned since, police said.He was expelled from the Communist Party on September 8, a move that would pave the way for him to face criminal charges.
The notorious official first attracted media attention in June while driving a $230,000 Lexus with government license plates in a country with a median annual income of around $2,100.The scandal caused an uproar over the use of public money, prompting Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong to order an investigation into his political career and how he was promoted.
Government inspectors discovered that Thanh and his team, starting in 2009, had established many branch units and cooperated with several companies, but very few joint ventures proved effective.Most of their business projects during the period were delayed or even canceled.
After his stint at PVC, Thanh continued to be kicked upstairs with an apparently successful political track record, holding various government positions before taking his latest post as vice chairman of the Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang.
He was not nominated for re-election for the 2016-2020 term in June.Later in July, he was also stripped of his electoral status.
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