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​Ex-legislator stands trial over $15mn real estate fraud in Vietnam

Tuesday, October 03, 2017, 14:31 GMT+7

A former member of Vietnam’s lawmaking National Assembly (NA) has been put on trial for scamming over 700 people and illegally appropriating more than US$15 million.

Chau Thi Thu Nga, who was a member of the NA for the 2011-16 tenure and chairwoman of the Land and Housing Construction and Investment JSC (Housing Group), stood trial at the Hanoi People’s Court on Monday.

Nine other accomplices, who were ex-deputy general directors, officials, and chief accountants of the Housing Group, were also present at the trial.

According to the indictment, Nga gave inaccurate information regarding the real estate project B5 Cau Dien in Bac Tu Liem District, Hanoi, which was developed by a partnership between the Housing Group and Hanoi Import-Export Investment Construction and Development Company, and sold properties included in the project before it was approved by the relevant authorities.

Between 2009 and 2013, Nga and her accomplices signed contracts of investment mobilization with over 700 clients, worth a total of VND377 billion ($16.5 million).

The B5 Cau Dien project remains incomplete in Bac Tu Liem District, Hanoi. Photo: Tuoi Tre
The B5 Cau Dien project remains incomplete in Bac Tu Liem District, Hanoi. Photo: Tuoi Tre

As per the deals, Nga promised to hand over 752 apartments to her customers once the construction was complete.

However, the victims reported that they were not given the properties as agreed and never got their money back.

Nga refunded about VND28.7 billion ($1.25 million) to 43 clients and appropriated the rest of the money, totalling more than VND348 billion ($15.2 million).

The indictment also revealed that Nga had spent over VND47 billion ($2 million) lobbying for her company’s projects as well as for her appointment as a member of the National Assembly.

However, those involved in the scheme pleaded not guilty to any violation.

Investigators from the Ministry of Public Security are continuing their investigation into the case.

The trial is expected to last for 20 days.

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