PM requests probe into Tenma Vietnam bribery allegations
Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has assigned relevant agencies to launch a swift investigation in order to clarify bribery allegations levelled at Tenma Vietnam, a Japanese firm in Bac Ninh province.
Tenma Vietnam was alleged to have paid Vietnamese tax and customs officials
a total of 25 million Japanese Yen in order to avoid tax payments
In light of the seriousness of the case, PM Phuc asked for punishments to be handed out if any wrong doing is discovered in an attempt to create an equal and transparent business and investment environment and avoid tax evasion.
Elsewhere, the Ministry of Finance on May 26 asked the General Department of Taxation and the General Department of Customs to suspend a number of tax and customs officials from Bac Ninh province due to the launch of various investigations.
Immediately the two General Departments of Taxation and Customs made decisions to suspend members of the tax and customs teams that had been inspecting Tenma Vietnam’s imports, in addition to officials who were responsible for setting up both teams.
Among the notable names to make the suspension list are the head of Bac Ninh's Customs Department, in addition to the deputy head of the provincial Tax Department.
Tenma Vietnam, a Japanese plastic firm, a subsidiary of the Tenma parent company in Tokyo, has been in operation in Bac Ninh province since 2007. The firm was alleged to have paid Vietnamese tax and customs officials a total of 25 million Japanese Yen, the equivalent of over VND5 billion or US$215,000, in bribes in both 2017 and 2019 as a means of avoiding tax payments.
The scandal comes after several Japanese newspapers, including Asahi and Nikkei, previously reported that Tenma representatives had confessed to the act of bribery to Japanese prosecutors in Tokyo. In line with this, Tokyo prosecutors then determined that Tenma Vietnam had violated Japanese laws against unhealthy competition, which strictly prohibits firms from giving bribes to foreign officials.
To Lam, Vietnamese Minister of Public Security, confirmed on May 26 that Vietnam “is co-operating with Japan” to investigate the bribery scandal.
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