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Vietnam suspends four officials over Japan aid graft allegations

Published on Mar 25, 2014 4:16 PM

HANOI (AFP) - Vietnam on Tuesday said it had suspended four railway officials following allegations a Japanese firm paid bribes to win a contract linked to a rail project for Hanoi.

Japan's leading Yomiuri newspaper reported that the head of Japan Transportation Consultants (JTC) admitted his company had paid kickbacks of 130 million yen (S$1.6 million) to civil servants in Vietnam, Indonesia and Uzbekistan to win work tied to projects funded by Japan's Official Development Assistance (ODA).

The report said Tamio Kakinuma, 65, told prosecutors in Tokyo last week that among the illicit payments were 80 million yen paid to officials at Vietnam Railways for a project worth 4.2 billion yen. The scheme was for part of an overground rail link across Hanoi, partially financed by the ODA.

Prosecutors were preparing to launch a criminal probe, the newspaper added, while JTC said it had set up an internal committee to look into the claims.

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