The Ministry of Health is to establish a working group to collect documents related to the reported bribery case involving US firm Bio-Rad Laboratories to serve investigations.

On November 3, the US Securities and Exchange Commission announced that the company’s subsidiaries were charged of making improper payments worth 7.5 million USD to officials in Russia, Thailand and Vietnam in order to win contracts. The firm was alleged to have paid 2.2 million USD to Vietnamese officials to win business deals from 2005-2009.

Under the ministry’s decision, the 10-member working group with Deputy Health Minister Pham Le Tuan as its head will gather documents related to the purchase and use of Bio-Rad’s medical equipment, chemicals, medicine and vaccines in Vietnam in the said period, including the products allowed to be imported into Vietnam, import companies and health care facilities at all levels using the products.

The group will also coordinate with relevant US agencies in the investigation process.

The ministry’s Chief Inspector Dang Van Chinh has requested the General Department of Customs to provide information on the import of Bio-Rad products from January 1, 2005-December 31, 2010 before November 20.

Earlier, the Health Ministry asked all local health departments and hospitals under its management to report the procurement of testing and diagnostics equipment and medicine supplied by US-based Bio-Rad Laboratories Inc. from January 1, 2005 to November 5, 2014.-VNA