Former Khanh Hoa chairmen arrested over land management violations

By Xuan Ngoc   June 8, 2021 | 06:05 am PT
Former Khanh Hoa chairmen arrested over land management violations
Nguyen Chien Thang (R) and Le Duc Vinh, former chairmen of Khanh Hoa Province. Photos by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen, Xuan Ngoc.
Two former chairmen of the central Khanh Hoa Province are under investigation for wrongdoings in handing over land plots to businesses.

Khanh Hoa police on Tuesday evening arrested Nguyen Chien Thang, 66, who was the province's chairman for the 2011-2016 term and Le Duc Vinh, 56, who held the position of former deputy Party chief of Khanh Hoa in 2015-2020 and provincial chairman from 2016 to 2021.

They also detained Le Mong Diep, former director of Khanh Hoa Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

The three will be investigated for violating land management regulations under the Penal Code.

According to the police, the three are involved in violations in transferring land plots to build two projects, which are Cuu Long Son Tu spiritual-eco tourism site and Vinh Trung villa project, on areas of Chin Khuc Moutain near the beach town of Nha Trang.

Their specific violations and losses incurred to the state budget have yet to be revealed but investigators said those projects have contributed to deforestation on the mountain which resulted in landslides.

The arrests have been made one month after Khanh Hoa police looked into a case in which a land plot of more than 20,000 square meters in downtown Nha Trang had been handed over to businesses without following land management rules.

In this case, Thang’s involvement is being verified.

Last November, government inspectors had pointed out a series of violations made by Khanh Hoa authorities in transferring land at prime locations to businesses between 2010 and 2017.

They also found that in December 2019, top officials in the province had signed a number of documents to give green lights for projects that have been concluded as "seriously violating regulations of the Party and the state."

Related to such violations, Dao Cong Thien, 59, former deputy chairman of Khanh Hoa and Vo Tan Thai, 60, former director of the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, had been arrested in May.

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