Police in Vietnam have arrested the former chairman of a scandal-hit major state-owned conglomerate for alleged abuse of power as communist authorities step up their crackdown on graft.

The Ministry of Public Security says Nguyen Ngoc Su (WEN GOTCH SUH), the former chairman of Vietnam Shipbuilding Industrial Group, or Vinashin, was taken into custody on Thursday for allegedly using Vinashin's money to deposit savings into the Ocean joint stock bank that allowed some company executives to appropriate $4.7 million in excessive interest.

Su was the former vice general director of state giant PetroVietnam before being appointed in 2010 to head Vinashin, which was teetering on collapse over accumulated debts of $4.5 billion.

Scores of officials and bankers have been put on trial recently for economic crimes.