HCMC former deputy leader arrested for violations linked to jailed property tycoon

By Ba Do, Huu Cong   November 20, 2018 | 10:29 am GMT+7
HCMC former deputy leader arrested for violations linked to jailed property tycoon
A plot of land in District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, whose transfer was found to have violated regulations. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nguyen

A former vice chairman of HCMC is among the latest to be implicated in investigations into a jailed real estate tycoon.

Police arrested Nguyen Huu Tin, 61, Monday for "violations of regulations on the management and use of state-owned property leading to losses or squander."

Dao Anh Kiet, 61, a former director of the city's Department of Natural Resources and Environment, and Truong Van Ut, deputy head of the department's Land Management Unit, were also arrested and accused of being his accomplices.

Tin and Kiet had already been under house arrest since September.

The arrests are part of an ongoing investigation into fraud related to public land in HCMC linked to the jailed tycoon Phan Van Anh Vu.

In June 2015, while serving as the city’s vice chairman responsible for urban affairs, Tin signed a decision to transfer a piece of public land in District 1 to Vu's Bac Nam 79 Company.

Half a year later the city granted the company permission to construct an 18-story building there and change its land use purpose, thus completing the sale to Vu.

Investigators found this sale had violated regulations related to state-owned lands as it was sold without bidding.

Tin personally signed the decision based on Kiet's proposal.

Nguyen Huu Tin (L), HCMCs former vice chairman, and Dao Anh Kiet, former director of the citys Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Photo by VnExpress/File

Nguyen Huu Tin (L), HCMC's former vice chairman, and Dao Anh Kiet, former director of the city's Department of Natural Resources and Environment. Photo by VnExpress/File

Tin and Kiet are also under criminal investigation for leasing out a 6,000-square-meter (1.5-acre) plot of prime land in District 1 without bidding.

Vu, 43, used to be one of the biggest property developers in Da Nang, serving as the chairman of three large property companies and a shareholder in a number of projects in the city.

Last December authorities issued an international arrest warrant for him for revealing state secrets after he left the country. He was detained in Singapore the same month for violating that country's immigration laws and deported to Vietnam, where he was arrested upon arrival.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison for "deliberately disclosing state secrets" in July. An appeal court in late October commuted his sentence to eight years.

Vu is also under investigation for "tax evasion," "abuse of power or position in performance of official duties," "abuse of power or position to appropriate property," and "violating regulations on the management and use of state-owned property that led to losses or squander" in separate cases, which include alleged graft at Dong A Bank and violations of land regulations in Da Nang and HCMC.

 
 
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