US Consulate in Vietnam Caught Taking Bribery For Visa Scheme
According to a McClatchy report, a consular officer allegedly sold visas for millions of dollars at the US Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, and laundered millions in profits by buying real estate in Phuket and Bangkok.
The state department has been covering up the story for weeks but it was recently exposed by McClatchy.
Foreign Service officer Michael T. Sestak was charged on conspiracy to commit visa fraud and bribery in an alleged scheme that investigators say spanned several countries. He and his cohorts charged Vietnamese up to $70,000 each for visas granting legal entry to the United States.
The state deparment investigators say the alleged conspiracy occurred while Sestak was handling non-immigrant visas in the U.S. consulate in Ho Chi Minh City. Sestak served in the consulate until last September. Sestak then moved the money out of Vietnam by using money launderers through offshore banks, primarily based in China, to a bank account in Thailand that he opened in May 2012. He then used the million of dollars gained from the bribery scheme to purchase high-end real estate in Phuket and Bangkok, Thailand.
For Vietnamese-Americans who are interested to know more about the details of the corruption at the US Consulate in Vietnam, US Ambassor to Vietnam, David Shear, will be at the Board Chamber, Santa Clara County, on June 7 at 4:00 PM.