Vietnam sacks top official for PetroVietnam ‘violation’
A top Vietnamese official has been sacked for “violations” while running national oil and gas firm PetroVietnam, in a rare public censure by the ruling Communist Party.
The government said on Sunday that Dinh La Thang, 57, was no longer part of the top decision-making Politburo.
Mr Thang’s alleged misconduct was first leaked on social media last year.
His sacking comes amid a wider crackdown on PetroVietnam, the country’s largest enterprise.
It is extremely uncommon for a Politburo member to lose their place in the one-party state. Since Vietnam started economic reforms in 1986, only two other Politburo members have been dismissed.
Mr Thang is said to have committed the violations between 2009 and 2011 while he was chairman of PetroVietnam.
Last September, writer Huy Duc attacked Mr Thang on Facebook with articles accusing the politician of being responsible for a recent huge loss at PetroVietnam.
Although Huy Duc’s articles, which seemed to be based on leaked documents, polarised public opinion on the internet, the issues he raised were not reported in state media.
In late April, the Central Inspection Committee, the top watchdog of the party, suddenly announced it had investigated and held Mr Thang responsible for “serious” violations at PetroVietnam.
The party’s inspectors accused Mr Thang of allowing PetroVietnam to make loans to the local Ocean Bank that caused “serious losses” to the company.
They also said Mr Thang had advised the prime minister “to designate many bidding packages that failed to meet legal regulations”.