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Ho Chi Minh City ex-vice chairman jailed for land mismanagement

Wednesday, January 01, 2020, 10:58 GMT+7
Ho Chi Minh City ex-vice chairman jailed for land mismanagement
Defendants stand trial in a case of wrongful land lease at the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court on December 31, 2019. Photo: Quang Dinh /Tuoi Tre

A former deputy chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City administration has been sentenced to seven years in prison for green-lighting the leasing of a valuable public land plot against the law.

The municipal People’s Court on Tuesday morning announced the seven-year jail term for Nguyen Huu Tin, 62, who was deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee in 2011-15, for his role in the lease of a land plot at 15 Thi Sach Street in District 1, which is a central business district.

Dao Anh Kiet, former director of the city’s Department of Natural Resources and Environment, was handed six and a half years in prison in the same case.

Truong Van Ut, an ex-senior official tasked with land management at the environmental department, was slapped with a five-year jail term.

Le Van Thanh, former deputy chief of the office of the municipal People’s Committee, was sentenced to four years behind bars, while Nguyen Thanh Chuong, a former official of the city’s administration, got three years.

According to the indictment, Phan Van Anh Vu, a.k.a. Vu ‘nhom,’ a business tycoon known for owning different companies and multiple pieces of ‘prime real estate’ in the central city of Da Nang, intended to lease the land plot at 15 Thi Sach Street, which was a valuable piece of property owned by the state, in 2014.

Vu took advantage of his connections to ask leaders of the Ministry of Public Security to send several proposals to the Ho Chi Minh City administration, requesting it to create favorable conditions for him to rent the piece of land.

Under such pressure, Tin ignored regulations and facilitated the lease while failing to report to the city’s chairman.

The other defendants - Kiet, Ut, Thanh, and Chuong - were Tin’s advisories regarding the decision to lease the land plot to Vu.

The wrongful lease eventually led to losses worth VND6.7 billion (US$289,600) to the state budget.

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