Detained Vietnamese tycoon deported from Singapore

The Vietnamese government informed Singapore that Mr Phan Van Anh Vu's passport was fake, and bears a fake personal identity, according to an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority letter. PHOTO: ST READER

SINGAPORE - The Vietnamese property magnate who was arrested for immigration offences last Thursday (Dec 28) has been deported from Singapore, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).

Lawyer Choo Zheng Xi, who represents Mr Phan Van Anh Vu, 42, told The Straits Times that Mr Vu left the country close to 2pm, on a flight back to Vietnam.

After his deportation, Mr Vu was arrested by Vietnam's Security Investigation Agency, said the Ministry of Public Security on its website.
After his deportation, Mr Vu was arrested by Vietnam's Security Investigation Agency, said the Ministry of Public Security on its website.
After his deportation, Mr Vu was arrested by Vietnam's Security Investigation Agency, said the Ministry of Public Security on its website.

After his deportation, Mr Vu was arrested by Vietnam's Security Investigation Agency, said the Ministry of Public Security on its website.

In a statement on Thursday (Jan 4), MHA said the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) has completed its investigations on Mr Phan Van Anh Vu, 42, and that he was issued a stern warning in lieu of prosecution.

ICA has also cancelled Mr Vu's visit pass and removed him from Singapore in accordance with its powers under the Immigration Act, said MHA.

Mr Vu had entered Singapore using a Vietnamese passport that did not bear his name, according to an ICA letter to Mr Vu's lawyer seen by The Straits Times.

The Vietnamese government informed Singapore that Mr Vu's passport was fake, and bears a fake personal identity, according to an Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) letter, dated Jan 4.

It also said Mr Vu had been issued with an Order of Detention and Order for Removal, dated Dec 30.

Mr Vu, 42, a former senior intelligence officer in Vietnam, is wanted there for allegedly disclosing state secrets deliberately.

His whereabouts had been the subject of speculation after the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security said it issued an arrest warrant for him last month.

The MHA confirmed in its statement that Mr Vu entered Singapore using a passport that bore a false identity, and said he had another Vietnamese passport bearing his real identity.

"He has used both passports in the past to enter into Singapore," said MHA. "Phan had in his possession a third passport as well. In the course of his latest entry into Singapore, as well as his previous entries into Singapore, Phan has made false declarations to ICA."

The ICA letter also said Mr Vu "made false declarations when he entered Singapore", and is the subject of an Interpol Red Notice for offences committed in Vietnam.

It added that lawyer Choo Zheng Xi's application in court does not restrain ICA's powers.

When contacted, Mr Choo said: "I am disappointed that despite my best effort, my client was removed from the jurisdiction without my knowledge or an opportunity to contest the allegations."

He added: "I sent ICA a letter at 1.10pm, asking that he not be removed from jurisdiction, pending our review of the documents which were supposed to form the basis of our client's removal order."

"We also asked that he not be removed (from the country) on the basis of the ongoing court application that we made," he added.

Mr Choo, who met Mr Vu on Wednesday, had earlier filed an application with the Supreme Court, requesting that Mr Vu be given access to counsel and that Mr Vu not be sent back to Vietnam before the outcome of the application.

According to Vietnamese media reports, Mr Vu previously served as a police senior lieutenant-colonel.

He was said to have close ties with former secretary of Da Nang Party Committee Nguyen Xuan Anh, who was also a member of the Communist Party of Vietnam Central Committee, according to a Xinhua news report on Dec 27.

Anh was dismissed from the two positions in October, according to the same report.

Mr Vu's detention comes amid a corruption crackdown in Vietnam that saw dozens of officials and business figures arrested.

The country has also disciplined leaders and former leaders of cities and provinces, and corporate executives who were once police or army officers.

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