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World Bank sanctions Vietnam- based firm

By Olisemeka Obeche

World Bank’s crackdown on fraudulent practices relating to its development initiatives has led to a two and half year debarment of Thang Long Infrastructure Development Joint Stock Company, a Vietnam-based private firm. According to information released by the Bank on the sidelines of the 2013 Annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF in Washington D.C., the sanction follows the company’s acknowledgment of fraudulent practices.

The company submitted misrepresented documents as part of the bidding process for the Trust-Fund financed Mekong Delta Region Urban Upgrading Project; the Second Northern Mountains Poverty Reduction Project; and the Da Nang Sustainable City Development Project, the Bank says.

“Fraud cases like this one represent an important area of investigations for the World Bank Integrity Vice Presidency; we investigate fraud cases to ensure the credibility of technical assistance that our projects deliver as part of a sustainable and effective development solution,” explains Mr Leonard McCarthy, the Bank’s Integrity Vice President.

According to the ‘Integrity’ expert, about 74 entities have been sanctioned in the 2013 financial year including settlements where companies are debarred as a default sanction in addition to committing to cooperation with the Integrity Vice Presidency as part of the Bank’s efforts to sanitize its operations.

The World Bank has also introduced new mobile application (App) to enhance reporting of fraud and corruption allegations relating to its projects. The new App, explains the top chief, also complements other tools and information resources to support the detection of fraud and corruption red flags.

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