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Section 4. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government

Although the law provides criminal penalties for corruption by officials, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices. This included existing and retired officials from the politburo, central party, military, and public security services.

Corruption: The lack of public consultation on land-use plans and government land compensation frameworks was the primary driver of corrupt land transfers, the major type of corruption. Corruption in financial, banking, natural resource mining, and public investment sectors also remained significant political and social problems.

The Communist Party’s Central Committee on July 6 dismissed Binh Duong Province party secretary Tran Van Nam as punishment for land management offenses. Subsequently police arrested Nam on July 27 on criminal charges of enabling a private company to illegally take over a valuable land lot.

On August 5, the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption reported that nearly 180 Communist Party members were disciplined during the previous six months for corruption and deliberate mismanagement, and more than 20 others for offenses in asset and income declaration.

On September 23, prosecutors arrested Colonel Phung Anh Le, head of the Economic Police Division of Hanoi Police, for unlawfully releasing detainees in exchange for cash. At least three other police officers also faced criminal charges in this case.

On November 6, former deputy head of the General Department of Intelligence Nguyen Duy Linh was sentenced to 14 years in prison for accepting a bribe worth five billion dong ($220,000) in 2017 from his subordinate, Phan Van Anh Vu, who was under investigation for leaking secrets and for offenses related to the sale of public properties in Da Nang. On the same date Vu was sentenced to seven years and six months in prison for offering bribes.

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The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future