Seafood products. (Photo: Stock File)
Officials accused of certifying substandard aquaculture products
Monday, July 25, 2016, 09:10 (GMT + 9)
Officials from the Centre for Aquaculture Testing were dismissed after an investigation revealed that since 2013 they had forged certificates of aquaculture products, some of which were harmful for consumers’ health.
The investigation leading to this evidence was ordered by Deputy Prime Minister Trịnh Đình Dũng, who asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in co-operation with police to investigate an agency suspected of forging documents, VietNam News reported.
The investigators found that the employees involved in the scam had falsified documents that allowed more than 800 substandard products of 70 companies to be sold in the market.
Evidence has shown that those companies paid a sum of money per product to the employees involved in the case, one of whom was Office Secretariat of Directorate of Fisheries, to have their products cleared any test.
Among the statements made against the officials accepting bribe was that they made fake dispatches and issued illegal dispatches to add substandard products into the list of licenced products for circulation.
Official sources informed that the violators will have to pay back nearly VND 1.2 billion (USD 60,000) they had received from the businesses in this case to the state budget.
One of the fired officials, deputy head of the Administrative Management Department of the General Directorate of Fisheries Le Tuan Anh filed a complaint and said the punishments were too heavy, lacked legal grounds and had been rushed. He also claimed the process and result violated procedures in accordance with Decree 34 which outlines sanctions for state officials.
According to Anh, his job was only stamping the papers after they had been approved by the director, leaders of sub units, other offices and departments and claimed his co-workers faked the papers and tricked him into stamping them.
In his defense, he said that the inspectorate of the Vietnam Directorate of Fisheries was unable to provide evidence that he was involved in any wrongdoings.