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Vietnam arrests former deputy minister as part of graft crackdown

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HANOI (Reuters) – Police in Vietnam arrested a former deputy labour minister on Friday on allegations of economic mismanagement, as the communist-led government presses on with a crackdown on corruption.

Le Bach Hong, a former deputy minister of labour, invalids and social affairs, and former head of Vietnam Social Security, was accused of “deliberate violations of state economic management regulations, causing serious consequences”, the Ministry of Public Security said in a statement.

Hong’s arrest is part an effort to widen investigations into wrongdoing at Vietnam Social Security, which runs social insurance operations, and at a bankrupt state-owned finance leasing firm, said the ministry, which is in charge of the police.

Hong was not available for comment and it was not known if he had a lawyer.

Police arrested three other former senior officials of Vietnam Social Security on Friday on the same charges, the ministry said, without giving further details.

Calls to the Ministry of Labour seeking comment went unanswered.

The Ministry of Public Security said it was carrying out further investigations to retrieve state assets that had been lost.

The arrests come amid a corruption crackdown in the Southeast Asian country that has seen several senior government officials and executives of state-owned enterprises arrested and jailed.

(Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by Robert Birsel)

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