Former deputy PM implicated in steel company project violations

By Viet Tuan   December 9, 2019 | 07:43 pm GMT+7
Former deputy PM implicated in steel company project violations
Hoang Trung Hai, Hanoi's Party Secretary. Photo by VnExpress/Vo Hai.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai (2007-2016) committed several violations in overseeing the expansion of steel company TISCO, Party inspectors say.

Besides Hai, a member of the Politburo and Hanoi Party Secretary, other senior officials implicated in the violations include: former deputy heads of the Government Office Van Trong Ly and Nguyen Huu Vu; former deputy head of the sectorial economic department under the Government Office, Nguyen Van Tai; and head of the general department of geology and minerals under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Do Canh Duong.

The Party Central Inspection Committee on Monday also stated that the standing party committee of the Vietnam Steel Corporation (VNSTEEL) was irresponsible and lacked supervision in its leadership, which led to the firm committing serious violations in a project to expand production by the Thai Nguyen Iron and Steel Joint Stock Company or TISCO (the TISCO II project).

The violations caused "very serious consequences" and "seriously damaged the financial position and properties of the state." 

The state currently owns nearly 94 percent of VNSTEEL, while VNSTEEL holds a 65 percent stake in TISCO.

Among VNSTEEL officials, Nguyen Kim Son and Dang Thuc Khang, both former party chiefs of the company and former board chairmen, were responsible for the violations committed by the firm's standing party committee, the Party Central Inspection Committee stated.

Le Phu Hung, former deputy party chief of the company and former general director, and Trinh Khoi Nguyen, member of the firm's standing party committee and deputy general director, were also responsible for violations committed by the firm’s standing party committee and hold personal responsibility for the tasks and roles they were assigned.

Five officials already arrested in connection with the project are: Mai Van Tinh, former party chief of the company and former board chairman; Dau Van Hung, former deputy party chief and former general director; Tran Van Kham, former party chief and former board chairman; Tran Trong Mung, former party chief and former general director; and Ngo Sy Han, former member of the company's standing party committee and  former deputy general director.

These officials were mainly and directly responsible for the violations committed during the execution of the TISCO II project, the inspection committee added.

The five were in April placed under investigation for violating investment regulations and causing losses related to state property.

The Party Committee of the Ministry of Industry and Trade was also irresponsible and lacked supervision in its leadership, leading to the ministry committing several violations in discharging its state management function for the TISCO II project.

The inspection committee said Vu Huy Hoang, Secretary of the ministry’s Party Committee and former Minister (2007-2016), was mainly responsible for the violations committed by the ministry's Party Committee regarding the project.

Le Duong Quang and Do Huu Hao, members of the ministry’s Party Committee and former deputy ministers, were also responsible for violations committed and hold personal responsibilities for the tasks and roles they were assigned.

The violations committed by the party committees of VNSTEEL and the Ministry of Industry and Trade, as well as all the people identified above "have negatively affected the reputation of the Party organization, to the point that disciplinary actions must be considered," the inspection committee stated.

The TISCO II project, approved in 2005, had a total capital of over VND3.8 trillion ($242 million). It had two main packages, one of them an EPC package regarding development of a metallurgy processing line. The EPC package was auctioned to the China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) for over $160 million.

However, the Government Inspectorate discovered in February that the project’s total capital had been illegally altered by TISCO, from over VND3.8 trillion to VND8.1 trillion.

Furthermore, at the time of discovery, TISCO had already paid MCC over 92 percent of the total value of the project, but the project was nowhere near completion. As of 2013, the EPC contractor MCC and contractors had stopped all construction activity.

Since then, some project equipment have been damaged, negatively affecting the project’s progress and quality, causing investment capital losses, inspectors said.

 
 
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