VietNamNet Bridge – Minister of Health Nguyen Thi Kim Tien has asked the Ministry of Public Security to open an investigation into a case in which California-based Bio-Rad allegedly bribed Vietnamese officials. Tien has also asked for the assistance from the American Embassy for the investigation.
According to foreign news wires, Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc., a provider of research and clinical diagnostic products, paid more than $7.5m in kickbacks to government officials in Russia, Vietnam and Thailand to win contracts from 2005 to 2010. Bio-Rad has agreed to pay a settlement of $55 million to settle the charges with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US.
The BBC reported that from 2005 to 2009, the Bio-Rad office in Vietnam made improper payments totaling $D2.2 million to distributors and agents, who in turn transferred them to state officials.
Minister Tien has immediately requested the police to verify the veracity of the accusations and pursue suitable legal action under Vietnamese law for any organizations or individuals involved.
Mr. Nguyen Minh Tuan, an official from the Ministry of Health, said that in Vietnam, Bio-Rad worked in various fields, including pharmaceuticals and research but about a year ago, the company suddenly withdrew from Vietnam.
Tien also sent a letter to the US Embassy in Hanoi on November 6 to ask for support for the investigations.
Related to the case, Chief Inspector of the Ministry of Health – Mr. Dang Van Chinh – sent an urgent dispatch to the Department of Health and hospitals throughout to ask them to review and report on their purchase of equipment from the Bio-Rad Laboratories in the period from 2005 to 2014 before November 15.
FM spokesperson affirms careful investigation on US graft case
Vietnamese relevant agencies will conduct a thorough investigation and strictly deal with the case related to US firm’s bribery of Vietnam government officials.
The statement was confirmed by Foreign Ministry deputy spokesperson Pham Thu Hang at a press briefing in Hanoi on November 6.
“Immediately after receiving information about the US$2.2 million bribery for Vietnam government officials by US Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc, Vietnam competent agencies are urgently verifying the incident and will strictly handle violations if discovered.” Hang said.
According to Hang, the Minister of Health on November 6 sent a letter to Deputy US Ambassador to Vietnam asking the US side to work together with Vietnam on inquiring into the incident.
” With the function and role of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we will cooperate with Vietnam and US relevant agencies when we are requested and in areas we are in charge of “, the official committed.
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