A deputy Party chief in the southern Vietnamese province of Dong Nai has been warned by higher authorities for multiple violations of anti-corruption laws during her previous appointments.
The Central Inspection Committee stated in an announcement on Monday evening that it had reprimanded Phan Thi My Thanh, deputy secretary of the Dong Nai Party Committee, for several violations of anti-corruption laws whilst she was holding her previous positions.
During her appointments as the director of the provincial Department of Industry and Trade and secretary of the Party Committee in Nhon Trach District in 2008, Thanh also partook in the management of Cuong Hung Company, in which her husband, Do Tinh, was a co-founder and chairman.
Between June 2011 and August 2014, when Thanh was the vice-chairwoman of the provincial People’s Committee, she signed several documents approving Cuong Hung Company as an investor in a residential area project.
She was found approving paperwork out of her authorization in order to provide benefits to the firm.
Thanh was also not transparent in her declaration of personal assets and income.
The Central Inspection Committee considered Thanh’s actions a serious violation and decided to discipline the official in the form of warning.
Facilitating BOT project
According to a probe by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, the Tan Cang mine covered some 600 hectares and was used to provide materials for construction in the southeastern region.
For the smooth transportation of the resources, the People’s Committee in Long Thanh District asked businesses at the mine to fund a road project leading to the venue in 2009.
After Thanh was appointed as the provincial vice-chairwoman, she inked a document allowing An Phat Cooperative, managed by her husband, to construct the road as a BOT (build-operate-transfer) project.
The residential area project which Thanh approved to be carried out by her husband’s company. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Upon the completion of the street, a toll booth was established to collect road fees.
The probe also revealed that land clearance for the project was funded by the local budget.
The project includes a seven-kilometer road with a capital investment of over VND200 billion (US$8.7 million), and currently has one of its two phases completed.
According to local businesses, a toll booth for the road is unnecessary.
“We all noticed some unusual activity when Thanh agreed that the project would be carried out by her husband’s cooperative but was unable to do anything about it,” the head of one company said.
Managing family business
Records showed that the Dong Nai Department of Industry and Trade allowed Tinh’s company, originally named Song Khue, to be renamed Cuong Hung in November 2010.
After the name change, the firm had a new shareholder accounting for 11 percent of its capital, who was Thanh and Tinh’s daughter, resulting in the elimination of the company’s legal shareholder, Lu Thi Thanh Xuan.
During that period, Thanh directly chaired meetings and gave directions in the company, as well as signed contracts and negotiated with its partners in several projects.
As Thanh is not a legitimate member of the institution, many shareholders were upset by the fact and submitted several denunciation letters to local authorities.