Read what is in the news today, April 18!
-- Police have launched legal proceedings against seven former senior officials involved in a high-profile case linked to ‘Da Nang mafia’ boss Phan Van Anh Vu (aka Vu ‘nhom’), including two former chairmen of Da Nang City in central Vietnam, three former Da Nang officials responsible for land and investment, a former deputy chief of intelligence under Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security, and one intelligence officer.
-- The Ministry of Transport is asking for government approval to launch a project to upgrade a stretch of the north-south Ho Chi Minh Trail through the provinces of Binh Phuoc, Binh Duong, Tay Ninh and Long An into an expressway financed by the build-operate-transfer (BOT) model.
-- Eleven men who were forced to work at a gold mine in the central province of Quang Tri have been rescued by local police and border protection units following reports from locals.
-- Nearly 100 employees of a shipyard owned by Singaporean shipbuilder Triyards Holdings Ltd gathered outside the company’s office in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau on Tuesday to protest lateness in paying wages and social insurance.
-- A family-run coffee production establishment in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong, one of Vietnam’s largest coffee-producing regions, has been found to use dirty materials such as used batteries, dirt and rock dust to produce and sell tons of coffee powder to the market.
-- The Vietnam International Airports Ground Services Company (VIAGS) found and returned 3,183 items and VND2.5 billion (US$110,000) forgotten on airplanes to their owners in the first quarter of 2018.
-- The Ho Chi Minh City Tourism Association has asked to extend Vietnam’s visa waiver program for five European countries, which will expire after June, for another five years, increase the allowed length of stay for visa-free travelers to 30 days instead of 15, and introduce more visa waivers for citizens of countries such as Australia, Canada, India and New Zealand to attract more tourists.
-- The taxman of Ho Chi Minh City has asked ride-booking service Grab to submit documents related to its acquisition of rival Uber’s operations in Southeast Asian markets, including Vietnam, by no later than April and be responsible for paying taxes arising from the deal on behalf of Uber.
-- A proposed law on asset tax, which if passed would tax individuals in Vietnam on houses, land or vehicles they own, will not be officially considered by the country’s lawmaking National Assembly until after 2019, general secretary of the National Assembly Nguyen Hanh Phuc said on Tuesday.
-- Thousands of Mercedes-Benz vehicles in Vietnam that were produced between September 2015 and February 2017 are being recalled over faulty ignition systems that put drivers at risk of setting their cars on fire.