Officials prosecuted for alleged involvement in the embezzlement of over $3.8 million

Former deputy health minister Cao Minh Quang and other officials were allegedly involved in the embezzlement of over US$ 3.8 million at Cửu Long Pharmaceutical Company in 2006.

Former deputy health minister Cao Minh Quang. VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Supreme People's Procuracy on Friday announced that it completed an indictment against former deputy health minister Cao Minh Quang and other officials over their alleged involvement in the embezzlement of more than US$3.8 million at Cửu Long Pharmaceutical Company in 2006.

Quang and two other former officials – former head of the ministry’s Financial Planning Department Dương Huy Liệu and former head of Drug Administration of Việt Nam Nguyễn Việt Hùng are being prosecuted for ‘lack of responsibility causing serious consequences'.

Meanwhile, the former director general of Cửu Long Pharmaceutical Company Lương Văn Hóa, the company’s former deputy director general Nguyễn Thanh Tòng, and two officials of the company are being prosecuted for “abusing positions and powers while performing official duties."

According to the indictment, the company was established in 2004 with the State’s capital making up 51.7 per cent of its capital and was ordered by the Health Ministry to make Oseltamivir and ensure the supply of the medicine for the prevention of influenza A (H5N1) epidemic in 2005.

Between February and April 2006, the company imported 520 kg of raw materials to make Oseltamivir worth US$9.1 million from a Singaporean Mambo Company. It paid Mambo Company $5.25 million and committed to paying the remaining $3.848 million within six months after receiving the raw medical material.

Seeing a falling price of the raw material, Cửu Long Company asked the Singaporean supplier to discount over $3.8 million. However, the company managers did not report to the Health Ministry the price reduction.

Hóa, former General Director, directed his subordinates to legalise reports and business documents to conceal and keep an amount of more than $3.8 million from the files.

In addition, the defendants also legalised records reported falsely to the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Finance with the aim of retaining more than $3.8 million.

Regarding the Ministry of Health, the Procuracy said that the defendants at the ministry including the former deputy health minister Quang were tasked with signing contracts, monitoring the performance, making contract payments, and periodically inspecting and evaluating the sale and purchase of raw materials for drug production between Cửu Long Pharmaceutical and suppliers. However, the defendants were irresponsible, improperly performed, did not fully fulfil their assigned responsibilities and tasks, did not consider and evaluate the implementation of the control and negotiation of the purchase price of raw materials, and did not check financial reports and invoices.

This resulted in the failure to discover that Cửu Long Pharmaceutical Company was entitled to a discount and retained the amount of US$ 3.848 million.

In particular, former Deputy Minister Cao Minh Quang, as head of the steering committee to deal with issues related to Tamiflu and Oseltamivir drugs, signed a decision to establish an interdisciplinary inspection team to examine the purchasing, preserving, and use of medicine. However, when the delegation leader Nguyễn Việt Hùng, reported that Cửu Long Pharmaceutical Company had not paid the supplier $3,848 million, Quang did not direct any inspection for verifying. VNS