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Three Japanese officials prosecuted for suspected bribery in Vietnam

VietNamNet Bridge - Japanese authorities have announced the prosecution against the Japan Transport Consulting Corporation (JTC) and its three officials in relation to a bribery incident involving railway projects in Vietnam that receive Official Development Assistance funds.

VietNamNet Bridge - Japanese authorities have announced the prosecution against the Japan Transport Consulting Corporation (JTC) and its three officials in relation to a bribery incident involving railway projects in Vietnam that receive Official Development Assistance funds.

The three JTC officials include former chairman Tamio Kakinuma, 65, former CEO Tatsuro Wada, 66 and former board member Koji Ikeda, 58, reported Asahi Shimbun.

The Japanese newspaper quoted the Tokyo Procuratorate announcement and several other sources as saying that Wada and Ikeda gave a total of 69.9 million yen (over $690,000) in cash to a number of officials of the Vietnam Railways Corporation from December 2009 to February 2014. Kakinuma was convicted for approving 6 million yen of this amount.

The scandal was detected in April 2013 after Tokyo tax authorities discovered several unusual expenses related to JTC's five ODA projects. T

In March Kakinuma also had to explain this matter before the investigators of the Tokyo Procuracy. In total, JTC allegedly spent 160 million yen as kickbacks for projects in Vietnam, Indonesia and Uzbekistan, reported in April by the group of lawyers for JTC.

In June, Japan announced that it would suspend ODA for Vietnam to wait for results of the investigation of this bribery allegation. To date, six officials of Vietnam's railway sector have been arrested for investigation.

Under Japanese law, bribery in cash or benefits to foreign officials carries a prison sentence of up to five years and fine of up to 5 million yen.

Meanwhile, the authorities in Vietnam said they could not reveal more information because the incident is under investigation.

Coming to Vietnam in 1993, JTC has participated in over a dozen railway projects. Its clients in Vietnam are the Vietnam Railway Corporation, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), the Bank of Japan for International Cooperation (JBIC) and a number of other units.

JTC has also been involved in many other advisory partnership in a number of projects using Japanese ODA, such as the Ben Thanh - Suoi Tien metro and the Bien Hoa - Vung Tau railway project.

VNE

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