Vietnam arrests the former chairman of Audio Visual Global (AVG) Pham Nhat Vu

Pham Nhat Vu, 47, the former chairman of Audio Visual Global (AVG) has been has prosecuted and arrested by Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security due to Mobifone’s acquisition of AVG

According to a report on VNExpress, the Ministry of Public Security of has issued a decision to prosecute and detain Vu on Friday, April 12 for further inspection on the Crime of Bribery in accordance to Item #4 of Article 364 of the 2015 Penal Code of Vietnam.

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Bribery is the offer or acceptance of anything of value in exchange for influence on a government/public official or employee. In general, bribes can take the form of gifts or payments of money in exchange for favorable treatment, such as awards of government contracts. Other forms of bribes may include property, various goods, privileges, services and favors.

Pham Nhat Vu | Photo credits: Vietnam Finance

Last July, Le Nam Tra, 58, former MobiFone chairman and Pham Dinh Trong, 49, then-current head of the MIC’s enterprise management department, got arrested for alleged charges of State capital mismanagement.

Three months later, former MobiFone general director Cao Duy Hai, 58 and then-incumbent MobiFone deputy general director Pham Thi Phuong Anh, 44 were in the same boat.

In Feb 2019, Vietnam police arrested Truong Minh Tuan, 58, former Minister of Information and Communications, and his predecessor Nguyen Bac Son, 65, based on the findings of further investigations and fresh evidence, the agency prosecuted Nguyen Bac Son and Truong Minh Tuan on charges of suspected “violations of regulations on the management and use of public capital that cause serious consequences,” in accordance with the 2015 Penal Code.

Mobifone office

MobiFone is one of 3 largest telco in Vietnam, which had made headlines early in 2016 when it announced it was breaking into the pay TV market with the acquisition of a 95 percent stake in AVG. But the Government Inspectorate concluded the deal, which had not been approved by Vietnam’s Pprime Minister, had violated investment laws and caused an estimated loss of around $307 million to the government.

In August 2016, the Vietnamese government ordered an across-the-board inspection into the acquisition. MobiFone in May 2018 said it had been refunded in full by AVG after the deal between the companies fell through.

- VNE/ SGT