Former Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong was sentenced to 4 years in prison

After 7 days of trial and deliberation, on the afternoon of May 19, the Hanoi People’s Court sentenced former Deputy Health Minister Truong Quoc Cuong to 4 years for the crime of “lack of responsibility causing serious consequences”, according to Article 285 of the Penal Code. the 1999.

Defendants Le Dinh Thanh (former Ho Chi Minh City customs officer) was sentenced to 2 years in prison and Nguyen Viet Hung (former Deputy Director of Drug Administration) 3 years in prison for the same crime.

For the group of defendants committing the crime of “abusing positions and powers while performing their official duties”, the trial panel sentenced Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy and Pham Hong Chau (a former officer of the Drug Administration of Vietnam) to the same sentence of 4 years in prison. .

The defendants Nguyen Minh Hung (former chairman of the Board of Directors of VN Pharma) were sentenced to 18 years in prison, combined with the old sentence forcing the defendant to serve a total penalty of 30 years in prison; Defendant Vo Manh Cuong (former director of H&C company) received 20 years in prison, combined with the previous sentence, Cuong received 30 years in prison for the crime of “trading in counterfeit goods as medicine”.

The other seven defendants, former leaders and employees of VN Pharma, received sentences of between 2 and 30 years in prison for the above crimes.

Regarding civil liability, the court forced defendants Nguyen Minh Hung and the group of defendants to jointly pay 31 billion VND to overcome the consequences. At the same time, it is forbidden to hold positions related to the field of pharmacy after serving the sentence.

  Former Deputy Minister of Health Truong Quoc Cuong was sentenced to 4 years in prison - Photo 1.

The panel concluded that the counterfeit goods that the defendants smuggled into Vietnam were medical drugs, including antibiotics and drugs for severe infections, which are special goods exclusively managed and distributed by the State. “The defendants’ behavior caused public discontent and undermined the reputation of the medical industry,” emphasized the chairman.

In the case, the first-instance court determined that defendant Nguyen Minh Hung played the main role, the mastermind, and led because he directed his accomplices at VN Pharma Company and H&C Company to forge documents and papers. papers and contracts to change the origin of drugs to smuggle counterfeit goods into Vietnam for consumption.

And Mr. Truong Quoc Cuong, in the role of Director of the Drug Administration of Vietnam, did not fulfill his duties and lacked supervision of the team of experts who appraised and issued drug registration numbers.

In addition, Mr. Cuong also agreed to approve the application for drug registration submitted by the group at VN Pharma. As a result, 6/7 counterfeit drugs of origin and origin have been licensed for circulation in many medical facilities and businesses.

After many days of trial, the first-instance court concluded that Mr. Truong Quoc Cuong’s mistake caused more than 3.7 billion VND in damage. “In court, Mr. Cuong sincerely declared that he should be considered for extenuating circumstances”, the jury assessed.

Before that, when questioned, Mr. Truong Quoc Cuong denied the whole indictment, only accepting the responsibility of the head of the Drug Administration at the time of the case. The Procuracy, when stating the point of impeachment, did not allow Mr. Cuong to apply mitigating circumstances.

The Hanoi People’s Procuracy said that, when the Ministry of Public Security warned about the above drug batch having signs of unknown origin, defendant Truong Quoc Cuong still did not direct the suspension of circulation or revoke the application for registration number. medicine.

As for the group of defendants, who are former officers at the Drug Administration of Vietnam, they were irresponsible and had personal motives, so they violated their official duties during the appraisal and approval process for 7 counterfeit medicines with the Health 2000 Canada label issued by the group. at VN Pharma and H&C Company.

As for the defendants at VN Pharma and H&C Company, they colluded to forge many contracts and documents, intentionally changing the origin of drugs to get the drug shipment with a total value of more than 25 billion dong to be cleared. After that, they raised the value of the drug to more than 54 billion VND.

However, this afternoon, before the trial panel pronounced the sentence, the Procuracy suddenly proposed reducing the sentence for former deputy minister Truong Quoc Cuong with a proposed sentence of 4-5 years in prison.

According to Hoang An

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