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Ho Chi Minh City suggests penalizing deputy Party chief linked to unlawful land sale

Tuesday, June 05, 2018, 11:42 GMT+7

The Standing Committee of the Party Committee of Ho Chi Minh City has proposed disciplinary action be taken against one of the organ’s deputy chiefs for his role in an illicit land sale by a state-owned company.

The proposition, involving Tat Thanh Cang, standing deputy secretary of the city’s Party organ, was announced on Monday.

The municipal Party Committee’s Inspection Commission is now responsible for completing the case file to submit to the Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission, which is authorized to decide on the official disciplinary action against Cang.

Cang is involved in the land sale between Tan Thuan Investment and Construction Co. Ltd., which is wholly owned by the Office of the municipal Party Committee, and private company Quoc Cuong Gia Lai, according to conclusions reached by the Standing Committee of the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee.

The city’s deputy Party chief now faces disciplinary action for overstepping his power by approving the land sale, later discovered as a loss-making deal, without first reporting to the municipal Party Committee.

Cang failed to perform necessary reviews of how the deal was actually enacted between the two companies involved in the sale, after having given his in-principle approval to Tan Thuan Co.

File photo of Tat Thanh Cang, deputy Party chief of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre
File photo of Tat Thanh Cang, deputy Party chief of Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Besides Cang, leaders of Tan Thuan Co., are also to blame for the illicit land sale, according to the Ho Chi Minh City Party Committee’s inspection conclusion.

Consequently, the Inspection Commission of the Party Committee of Ho Chi Minh City also announced on Monday that it had removed Tran Cong Thien, board member and general director of Tan Thuan Co., from all of his Party positions for his role in the land sale.

Thien was secretary of the company’s Party unit.

The inspection commission has called on the Office of the municipal Party Committee to strip Thien of his board member and general director positions at Tan Thuan Co.

Loss-making deal

In June 2017 Cang gave the green light to Tan Thuan Co. to sell a 32.5-hectare land plot in Phuoc Kien Commune in the outer district of Nha Be to Quoc Cuong Gia Lai for VND1.29 million (US$56.7) per square meter, which was much cheaper than the market price.

According to government decrees dictating the sale of land by state-owned companies, open auctions must be held to find the highest bidder to ensure maximum profit from the transaction, in cases similar to this.

A corner of the land in Phuoc Kien
A corner of the land in Phuoc Kien. Photo: Tuoi Tre

The sale was approved shortly after the piece of land became a state property, with local residents already receiving compensation to relocate elsewhere.

Neither the municipal Party Committee’s Standing Committee nor its Office that directly oversees Tan Thuan Co. was made aware of such a land sale, as Cang never reported his approval to these entities, according to inspection results.

But the Tan Thuan – Quoc Cuong Gia Lai deal never went through, as the city’s Party Committee discovered the agreement to have the land transferred via a non-auction sale in December 2017, and immediately ordered all land transfer proceedings to halt for an inspection.

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Son Luong / Tuoi Tre News

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