Vietnam Arrests Sacked PetroVietnam Chairman, Post Now Filled by CEO

Vietnam's Ministry of Public Security officers arrested the sacked chairman of state-owned Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) Nguyen Xuan Son Tuesday after he was sacked by the government earlier this week for abuse of power during his stint as CEO of a local bank, the country's news daily Thanh Nien reported Wednesday.

Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung dismissed Son as chairman of PetroVietnam's Board of Directors Sunday -- a position he assumed in July 2014 -- as recommended by the Minister for Industry and Trade and the Minister for Interior.

"The ministry said it is investigating Nguyen Xuan Son, who was sacked on Sunday, for abuse of power and violations of state economic management regulations that caused serious consequences," Thanh Nien said, adding that security officers searched his house in Hanoi Tuesday evening.

The alleged violations took place when Son served as chief of Dai Duong (Ocean) Commercial Bank between December 2008 and November 2010.

He was allegedly responsible for PetroVietnam’s decision to invest $36.66 million (VND 800 billion) in the bank, which was acquired by Vietnam's central bank in April as part of efforts to restructure weak banks. Ocean Bank has been embroiled in a police investigation for lending fraud and several of its executives were arrested last year.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has named Nguyen Quoc Khanh, PetroVietnam's CEO, as temporarily chairman to replace the post vacated by Son.

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