It has been discovered that artist Thanh Chuong and the family of pop singer My Linh are building their housing projects without construction licenses on forest land in Hanoi’s Soc Son district, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment announced.
The ministry’s inspectors said the forest land is under management of the Soc Son Forest Agricultural Development And Investment Co., Ltd.
Thanh Chuong has illegally built a palace [named after him] on the land without license to offer tourism services, the inspectors concluded.
Meanwhile, Hanoi singer My Linh told inspectors that in 2001, Do Xuan Lam, a former worker at Soc Son plantation, transferred a protected forest area of 12,691m2 to her and her husband, musician Anh Quan. The land transfer was confirmed by local authorities.
The People’s Committee of Soc Son even granted the couple the land-use right certificate for 600m2 (part of 12,691m2).
In 2009, they built housing projects, a 390m2 recording room, swimming pool, and parking area on the said land.
“We always respect laws. We legally bought the land over the past decade, have a land use right certificate and have resettled here for five years,” My Linh told Tuoi Tre on Tuesday.
“Both the local government and people know [we are the legal owner]. If we did something wrong, we could not have lived here for such a long time.”
However, the Ministry said My Linh and her family could not provide the inspectors with the construction licenses for their projects.
“Using land, including the land plots of singer My Linh and artist Thanh Chuong managed by the Soc Son Forest Agricultural Development and Investment Co., Ltd is wrong,” Nguyen Huu Nghia, deputy director of Hanoi Department of Natural Resources and Environment, told a press conference on Tuesday.
“All are equal before the law,” he stressed.
Government inspectors previously detected deforestation and the illegal transfer of forest land in Soc Son district and uncovered illegal owners, including Thanh Chuong. Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung also previously directed concerned authorities to seriously handle this case in line with the law.
Nghia blamed the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for belatedly implementing the PM’s order.
“The department of Agriculture and Rural Development was assigned by the Hanoi government to manage the said forest land. That is their responsibility, not ours,” Nghia claimed.