Vietnam deputy health minister prosecuted over counterfeit medicines

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Police in Vietnam have prosecuted a deputy health minister over his alleged involvement in a fake medicine trading ring, the country's security agency said on Thursday.

Truong Quoc Cuong, 59, a deputy minister since 2016, is currently head of Vietnam's drugs and cosmetics management.

He was prosecuted for "lack of responsibility, causing serious consequences," the police-led Ministry of Public Security said in a statement.

It did not say if Cuong had been arrested.

The health ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while calls to Cuong's phone went unanswered.

Citing unnamed police sources, state media outlets said Cuong had been detained.

Voice of Vietnam Radio said the alleged offence took place in 2014 when Cuong was head of the Drug Administration of Vietnam.

Giao Thong newspaper, run by the transport ministry, said Cuong had permitted a local company to import over 54 billion dong ($2.38 million) worth of fake medicine for domestic sale.

The Ministry of Public Security did not immediately respond to calls seeking further details of the prosecution of Cuong.

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