Vietnam police arrest fugitive businessman after being deported by Singapore

Mr Phan Van Anh Vu, Vietnamese property magnate detained in Singapore
The Straits Times reader

A fugitive Vietnamese tycoon who is accused of spilling state secrets was arrested in Hanoi on Thursday after being deported from Singapore.

Vu, 42, who was detained in Singapore for immigration offences last week, told his lawyers he was also a senior officer in Vietnam’s secret police and had been trying to get to Germany. He could face the death penalty in Vietnam.

Police in Vietnam said he was arrested after his deportation.

“The Security Investigation Agency of the Ministry of Public Security received and arrested the accused Phan Van Anh Vu and will investigate according to Vietnamese law,” the ministry said on its website.

Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said in a letter to Vu’s lawyer that Vietnamese authorities informed the agency the passport Vu used to enter Singapore was fake and it had ordered his removal.

A lawyer for Vu in Singapore said he was only informed about the deportation nearly three hours after he had been flown out.

“I am disappointed that, despite our best efforts for our client, he was deported without our knowledge or given an opportunity to contest the allegations made against him,” Remy Choo told Reuters.

The Singapore immigration agency did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Singapore has close diplomatic and trade ties to Vietnam. This year, Singapore is also chairing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations grouping, which has sought to strengthen regional cooperation.

Serious security offences, such as revealing state secrets, can carry the death penalty in Vietnam.