Vietnamese official with massive villa probed for suspected land mismanagement

By VnExpress   June 10, 2017 | 11:11 am GMT+7

There have been allegations that his villa complex in northern Vietnam is built on forest land.

Authorities in Yen Bai are looking into a potential management scandal as the northern province's environmental chief has been accused of building a huge villa on forest land, according to media reports.

The province launched an inspection on Friday, focusing on allegations against Pham Sy Quy, director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Thanh Nien reported.

The move came after media reports raised questions over his complex of a hillside villa, stilt houses, a pond and a garden stretching on more than 1.3 hectares of land. The land is believed to have already been designated as forest and agriculture land, which means residential use is restricted.

Quy said, as cited in a Lao Dong report, that the area was repurposed in 2015 and that he did not break any rule.

Quy is among officials named in a nepotism inspection by the Ministry of Home Affairs in February.

He was promoted to his current post last year by his own sister, the province’s Party chief Pham Thi Thanh Tra.

The ministry concluded that the appointment did not follow regulations, Thanh Nien said.