Vietnam arrests tycoon accused of revealing state secrets

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnamese police said they arrested a business tycoon wanted for revealing state secrets after he was deported by Singapore on Thursday.

Vietnamese officials said in a statement that Phan Van Anh Vu will be investigated "in accordance with regulations of the law."

The 42-year-old Vu is a real estate developer who also served as a senior officer in Vietnamese intelligence service. Police raided his home in the central city of Danang on Dec. 21 and issued an arrest warrant against him for revealing state secrets. Police did not say what the state secrets were.

Police are investigating nearly three dozen properties which were related to Vu. The properties had previously belonged to the state and were reportedly sold to Vu at below market price.

Vu was arrested in Singapore after using a false identity to enter the country last week, Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs said.

"He had entered Singapore using a Vietnamese passport bearing a false identity" and carried two other passports, the ministry said. It said Vu was deported for immigration offenses, but added that he was wanted under an Interpol Red Notice issued by Vietnam.

Vu's lawyer in Singapore, Choo Zheng Xi, said the crimes his client is accused of back home could lead to a severe penalty.

"He was extremely stressed and frightened for his safety should he be returned to Vietnam," Choo told The Associated Press.

Vietnam has stepped up its fight against corruption in recent months.

Germany in August accused Vietnam of kidnapping a former oil executive from a Berlin park. Vietnam rejected the accusation, saying Trinh Xuan Thanh returned home voluntarily to face justice.

The incident strained relations between Vietnam and Germany and Germany expelled two Vietnamese diplomats in retaliation.

Thanh along with Dinh La Thang, a former member of Vietnam's all-powerful Politburo and a former chairman of state energy giant PetroVietnam, and 20 other executives are scheduled to stand trial next week for their roles in the alleged mismanagement of the construction of a power plant.

Thang will be the first former Politburo member to face trial in decades.


Associated Press writer Annabelle Liang in Singapore contributed to this report.

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