PCI “bribed” official; head of HCM City body fingered in cash-for-ODA contract scandal (Yomiuri)

Tokyo. June 29, 2008 (Yomiuri) A manager of a Vietnamese organization that oversaw a multibillion yen highway construction project in Ho Chi Minh City received bribes allegedly paid by Pacific Consultants International to secure the contract for the project, which was funded with Japanese official development assistance, a PCI source said, according to a report in the Yomiuri Shinbun, a leading Japanese daily newspaper.

Investigators are looking into whether PCI violated the Unfair Competition Prevention Law by bribing an overseas public official.

PCI received about 1.1 billion yen in fiscal 2001 for consultancy work on a project to build a highway traversing Ho Chi Minh City from east to west. In fiscal 2003, a consortium that included PCI and other firms won a contract worth about 2 billion yen. Both were for ODA works funded with yen loans.

The cross-city highway was a massive project that involved tunneling under the Saigon River in the city. The total project cost was about 80 billion yen.

Read more …, Daily Yomiuri Online, 29 June 2008.