Three bloggers who reported about alleged corruption in Vietnam are on trial for spreading propaganda against the state.
Entries in Vietnam (46)
There was explosive testimony this week during parliamentary hearings into bribery allegations against a unit of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
One of Vietnam’s richest banking tycoons was arrested four days ago for “illegal businesses,” usually a euphemism for corruption.
The government's move against Nguyen Duc Kien is prompting fears of instability in Vietnam's banking segment.
Nearly half of Vietnam’s companies said they have had to bribe officials in order to do business, according to a survey released last month by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Aon Corporation, one of the biggest insurance brokerage firms in the world, agreed today to settled FCPA charges with the DOJ and SEC.
President Obama meets tomorrow on Bali, Indonesia with the heads of state from ASEAN -- the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
The Guardian today reported the arrest of a British businessman who allegedly paid for the son of a Vietnamese state bank governor to attend Durham University in the U.K. in exchange for a banknote printing deal.
A report this week by the VOA's Trung Nguyen said although Vietnam ranks 116 on the Corruption Perception Index and is one of Asia's most corrupt countries, citizens there want to clean things up. The problem is that they don't know how.
The former boss of Ho Chi Minh City's transport department gets life in prison for taking bribes from a Japanese company. The Japanese executives who admitted paying the bribes aren't punished. FCPA cases involving Vietnam have proliferated.
The DOJ said today that three former employees and a partner of Nexus Technologies Inc., a Philadelphia-based company, were sentenced late yesterday for their roles in a conspiracy to bribe Vietnamese government officials.
San Jose, California-based VOiP company Veraz Networks, Inc. paid $300,000 to settle charges brought by the SEC that it violated the books and records and internal controls provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by making illegal payments to foreign officials in China and Vietnam.
The SEC said the company hired a consultant in China who in 2007 and 2008 gave gifts and offered improper payments worth about $40,000 to officials at a government-controlled telco to win business for Veraz. Also in 2007 and 2008, a Veraz employee made improper payments to the CEO of a government-controlled company in Vietnam to win.
Veraz had disclosed the $300,000 settlement with the SEC in March. It said then that because of the ongoing compliance investigations, it had to delay filing its quarterly reports for March and May 2008. That resulted in NASDAQ warning Veraz "that its common stock may be subject to delisting." NASDAQ ultimately granted an extension for the filings, which were made in July 2008, allowing Veraz's common stock to continue to be listed.
The company said in November 2009 that it had spent $2.5 million to investigate and handle the FCPA compliance issues. The SEC began investigating the company in early 2008. Veraz then launched an internal investigation and discovered potential FCPA violations in China and Indonesia, which it self-reported. The SEC then requested documents related to Vietnam.
The SEC said without elaborating that it had help in its investigation from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Veraz Networks trades on NASDAQ under the symbol VRAZ.
View the SEC's Litigation Release No. 21581 (June 29, 2010) in Securities and Exchange Commission v. Veraz Networks, Inc., Case No. CV-10-2849 (PVT) (N.D. Cal. filed June 29, 2010) here.
View the SEC's civil complaint against Veraz here.
The Justice Department said Philadelphia-based export company Nexus Technologies Inc. and three employees pleaded guilty today to bribing Vietnamese officials.
Nexus pleaded guilty to conspiracy, and to violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and the Travel Act in connection with commercial bribes and money laundering. Nam Nguyen, 54, of Houston and Vietnam, the president and owner of Nexus, and sibling An Nguyen, 34, of Philadelphia, each pleaded guilty to conspiracy, a substantive FCPA violation, a violation of the Travel Act, and money laundering. Kim Nguyen, 41, another sibling, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, a substantive FCPA violation, and money laundering.
They were arrested in September 2008, along with Joseph T. Lukas, 60, a partner in Nexus until 2005. He pleaded guilty in June 2009 to conspiracy and to violating the FCPA. The DOJ said he admitted in his plea that from 1999 to 2005, he and others at Nexus bribed Vietnamese officials in exchange for contracts with the officials' agencies. The bribes were falsely described in the company's books as "commissions."
Lukas now faces up to 10 years in prison and a possible $350,000 fine. His sentencing is scheduled for April 6, 2010.
Nexus and the Nguyens admitted that from 1999 to 2008 they paid bribes of more than $250,000 to Vietnamese government officials in exchange for contracts. Nexus sold third-party underwater mapping and bomb containment equipment, helicopter parts, chemical detectors, satellite communication parts and air tracking systems.
The DOJ said Nexus acknowledged as part of its guilty plea that "it operated primarily through criminal means and agreed to cease operations."
Sentencing is scheduled for July 13, 2010. Nexus still faces a maximum fine of $27 million. Nam and An Nguyen each face a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison. Kim Nguyen faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.
The government hasn't released the plea agreements for Nexus and the Nguyens; the plea agreement in U.S. v. Lukas remains under court seal.
A copy of the Justice Department's March 16, 2010 release can be viewed here.
Download a copy of the October 29, 2009 superseding indictment in U.S. v. Nexus Technologies, Inc. et al here.