Former Vietnamese lawmaker gets life sentence for multi-million dollar housing scam

By Bao Ha   October 16, 2017 | 05:21 pm GMT+7
Former Vietnamese lawmaker gets life sentence for multi-million dollar housing scam
Former lawmaker Chau Thi Thu Nga is brought to trial in Hanoi on Monday. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Du

A separate probe has been opened into her claims that she spent nearly half of the money paying for her parliamentary seat.

A court in Hanoi has sentenced a former legislator to life imprisonment for swindling potential homebuyers out of millions of dollars through an unlicensed property project.

Chau Thi Thu Nga, 52, who was a member of the legislative National Assembly, was convicted on Monday of conning more than 500 people out of money through a bogus apartment development.

An investigation found the project had never been licensed and that Nga had pocketed most of the money.

She was arrested in January 2015.

The real estate company, where she held the posts of chairwoman and general director, collected large deposits worth a total of VND350 billion ($16.6 million) for the project in Hanoi’s Cau Dien District between 2009 and 2013.

Police have opened a separate probe into Nga’s claims that she spent nearly half of the money paying for her seat on the National Assembly. She was silenced twice by the court on October 5 as she was attempting to elaborate on such claims.

Nine of her accomplices received up to six years in jail at the trial, which started two weeks ago.

Nguyen Van Tuan, former chairman and director of another Hanoi housing company that jointly invested in the project, was sentenced to 18 years in jail at a different hearing in September last year.

Vietnam's National Assembly has 500 members, 90 percent of whom are Communist Party members. Arrests of serving lawmakers are rare. Before Nga, the two most recent arrests took place in 2005 and 2006.

In 2005, Le Minh Hoang, former director of the Ho Chi Minh City Electricity Company, was charged with wrongdoings in the import of electronic electricity meters. He received a four-year sentence.

In 2006, Mac Kim Ton, director of the education department in the northern province of Thai Binh, was arrested for abuse of power and was sent to jail for seven years.

 
 
go to top