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Ex-chief of Vietnam Government Office arrested for alleged power abuse

Ex-chief of Vietnam Government Office arrested for alleged power abuse

Sunday, May 05, 2024, 16:46 GMT+7
Ex-chief of Vietnam Government Office arrested for alleged power abuse
Mai Tien Dung gestures when he was Minister and Chairman of the Vietnam Government Office. Photo: Vietnam Government Portal

Police have arrested Mai Tien Dung, former Minister and Chairman of the Vietnam Government Office, on suspicion of power abuse during his tenure in relation to a project in the Central Highlands province of Lam Dong, the Ministry of Public Security announced on the weekend.  

The ministry’s investigation police agency has started legal proceedings against and detained Dung for ‘abusing positions and powers while performing duties,’ spokesman for the ministry Lt. Gen. To An Xo said at a press conference in Hanoi on Saturday.

The decision to prosecute and take Dung in was issued on April 30, Xo said.

The detention was made as part of an expanded investigation into the case of bribery and abuse of powers in Lam Dong in relation to the Dai Ninh ecological resort, tourism, and commercial urban area project, Xo said.

Dung, a 64-year-old native of Ha Nam Province, retired in April 2021 after serving as Minister and Chairman of the Vietnam Government Office in the 2016-21 term.

Before being arrested for his alleged involvement in the case, Dung received a warning from the Party Central Committee in mid-January this year over his negligence in the COVID-19 repatriation flight scandal, which led to officials and business executives being jailed.

He also got another warning from the prime minister two months ago over his violations and shortcomings in his official duties.

On January 24, the ministry arrested and prosecuted Tran Duc Quan, secretary of the Lam Dong Province Party Committee, on the same charges as Dung.

Quan was accused of acting against the law during the process where he participated in directing and resolving issues related to the Dai Ninh project.

His lawbreaking acts have caused very serious consequences, according to investigators.

About three weeks before arresting Quan, police officers detained Tran Van Hiep, chairman of the Lam Dong administration, for allegedly accepting bribes in association with the project.

Also implicated in the case, Nguyen Ngoc Anh, chief inspector of the province, was apprehended in March 2023 on the same charge as Hiep.

Similarly, Tran Bich Ngoc, a senior official at the Vietnam Government Office, were arrested in August last year for abusing positions and powers while performing official duties.

According to the case file, in June 2020, the Government Inspectorate proposed terminating the operations of, and reclaiming the land from, three projects whose investors breached the laws on land and investment, including the aforementioned project run by Lam Dong-based Saigon Dai Ninh Tourism Investment Joint Stock Company.

However, the inspectorate in June 2021 withdrew its proposals and requested the Lam Dong administration to instruct the company to modify the project, extend the land use term, and implement it according to the approved scale.

In October 2021, the provincial Department of Planning and Investment decided to let the project continue on the basis of the inspectorate’s request until the lawbreaking acts in the case were uncovered. 

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Vinh Tho - Than Hoang - Ngoc An / Tuoi Tre News


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