HANOI, Oct 8 (Reuters) – A Vietnamese property tycoon has been arrested on suspicion of financial fraud, police said on Saturday, as the country expands its years-long anti-corruption drive.

Truong My Lan, chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Van Thinh Phat Holdings group, was accused of illegally issuing bonds to raise trillions of dong (tens of millions of dollars) from investors during the period 2018-2019, according to the Ministry of Public Security. said Saturday in a press release.

“Further investigation is underway to clarify the frauds,” the ministry said.

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Lan’s company did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Vietnam has recently expanded its anti-corruption campaign with a series of high-profile arrests of businesses, including stockbrokers, property developers and even regulators.

Three other people accused of involvement in the Lan case have also been arrested, the police-led ministry said on Saturday.

The ministry said on Friday that there were irregularities in Van Thinh Phat Holdings’ acquisition of several state-owned lands in prime locations in downtown Ho Chi Minh City.

Rumors of Lan’s impending arrest on social media earlier this week sparked a race against the Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB) over suspicions of Lan’s ties to the bank.

Vietnam’s central bank reassured SCB depositors on Saturday and said it was monitoring the situation there.

“The State Bank of Vietnam affirmed that it will have solutions and policies in accordance with the law to guarantee the rights and interests of depositors, maintain the stability of the SCB in particular and the system of credit institutions in general” , the central bank said in a statement.

Calls to the SCB went unanswered on Saturday.

($1 = 23,875.0000 dong)

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Reporting by Khanh Vu; Editing by William Mallard

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