Four Vietnam environment officials punished over Formosa scandal

Updated : 01/27/2017 10:02 GMT + 7

Four officials of Vietnam’s General Department of Environment have been sanctioned for their responsibility in the mass fish deaths caused by a local unit of Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics Group last year.

The officials, none of whom was named, were punished for theirincapacity and improper managementresponsibility, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, which manages the general department, said Thursday.

The Formosa steel mill in the north-central province of Ha Tinh was identified as the cause behind the mass fish deaths along 200km of Vietnam’s central coast in April and May last year. More than 100 metric tons of fish were killed, whereas the environment, jobs and economies of four provinces were severely affected.

One of the four officials is the deputy head of the environment general department, who was slapped a Party penalty and an administrative action.

According to the environment ministry, the official was demoted to a lower position and was transferred to another department.

The three remaining include one division head and two deputy division heads under the general department, who received either warnings or rebukes. They were all transferred to other departments as well.

AnsweringTuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper as to why the general department deputy head was not named, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Tran Hong Ha said “it is not really necessary to [do so].”

“The penalties were enacted upon him and he was also demoted,” Ha said.

“His violations were not done in deliberate manners, but his lack of capacity and responsibility.”