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​Da Nang police chief denies receiving luxury villa from notorious tycoon

Saturday, April 21, 2018, 16:04 GMT+7

The chief police officer of the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang has refuted rumors that he had been given a multimillion-dollar villa as a gift from a local notorious tycoon who was being held for investigation in a high-profile case.

Le Van Tam, director of the Da Nang police department, was accused in a Facebook post that went viral this week of owning a 1,000-square-meter villa valued at around VND100 billion (US$4.4 million) at the Euro Village villa complex in Son Tra District.

The owner of the post, a Da Nang-based journalist, questioned whether the police chief had received the high-class residence as a gift from Phan Van Anh Vu, aka Vu ‘nhom’, who was arrested in January over allegations of revealing state secrets, tax evasion and abuse of power.

Tam has denied the accusations, though confirming with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper on Friday that he owns a villa at Euro Village.

“I do own a villa there and the place is registered under my name, but what has been reported online is not true,” Tam said.

“Journalists have the rights to report on their findings, but they will be held accountable if the findings are false.”

The police chief said authorities are already looking into the case and the journalist responsible for the Facebook post will face disciplinary actions from his newspaper if he is found at fault in the spreading of false information.

Le Van Tam was appointed police chief of Da Nang on May 21, 2015.

Born in 1975, Phan Van Anh Vu is business tycoon known for owning different companies and multiple pieces of ‘prime real estate’ in Da Nang.

He is linked to a high-profile case of land management violations in the central resort city that also involves, among many, two former Da Nang chairmen and a former deputy chief of intelligence under the Ministry of Public Security.

Vu had tried to escape from charges in Singapore in January but was later deported by the city-state, upon which he was arrested by Vietnamese police.

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Tuan Son / Tuoi Tre News

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