Government gets serious on corruption ?

Trinh Xuan Thanh's whereabouts are not known since he left Vietnam in August. Photo courtesy Tuoi Tre

Trinh Xuan Thanh’s whereabouts are not known since he left Vietnam in August. Photo courtesy Tuoi Tre

The Vietnam communist party’s intermittent campaign to tackle corruption in state companies has spluttered into life with the issuance of an international arrest warrant for a former top executive.

The public security ministry said the former chairman of PetroVietnam Construction (PVC), Trinh Xuan Thanh, was wanted for intentionally violating state regulations on economic management.

Thanh was dismissed from the state oil company subsidiary after it made serious losses from a series of investments that he oversaw. He went on to hold other senior government positions before leaving last month for what he said was medical treatment overseas.

The international warrant was issued after four of his former colleagues at the construction company were arrested.

Thanh is the one of the most senior officials in recent years to be targeted, following occasional promises by Communist party leaders to clean up corruption and chronic mismanagement in the state sector.

The party Secretary-General, Nguyen Phu Trong, pledged after his reappointment this year to get serious about corruption, which has severely undercut the standing of the Communist party in the country.

Mismanagement by Thanh and his colleagues is being blamed for losses of $150 million at the state construction company.

He was stripped of his membership of the Communist party last week, according to reports in state media.

Thanh attracted public anger earlier this year when he was spotted driving a luxury foreign car with official license places during a stint as deputy governor of a Hau Giang province in the Mekong Delta.