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January 22, 2003

Vietnam crime scandal reaches Politburo

(BBC News) - A member of the Politburo of the ruling Communist Party in Vietnam, Truong Tan Sang, has become the most senior official yet to be formally punished in connection with a crime scandal.

The official Nhan Dan newspaper said that Truong Tan Sang was officially reprimanded on Tuesday, by the Central Committee, for dereliction of duty when he led the party in Ho Chi Minh City from 1996-2000.

The report said he failed to instruct enforcement agencies to investigate or prevent the activities of a criminal gang leader, Nam Cam, and committed mistakes in personnel affairs.

Nam Cam was based in Ho Chi Minh City before being arrested in December 2001 by a special police task force brought in from outside.

His long-delayed trial on murder and corruption charges is expected next month.

His detention triggered a series of more than 150 arrests, including high-ranking police and party officials.

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