HCMC seizes prime public lands sold in corrupt deal

By Thai Anh   September 19, 2022 | 10:27 pm PT
HCMC seizes prime public lands sold in corrupt deal
The two land plots at the corner of Chu Manh Trinh and Nguyen Du Streets in HCMC's District 1 that have been seized by authorities from a corrupt deal. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Two land plots measuring 6,300 sq.m in downtown HCMC are set to be expropriated from a company that had paid a state-owned corporation well below market price for them.

The city administration pulled the plug on what was found to be a corrupt deal, and impounded the plots on Nguyen Du and Chu Manh Tinh streets in Ben Nghe Ward, District 1 from the Viet Han Saigon Trading – Construction – Service Co. Ltd.

The Government Inspectorate last January said unidentified officials at the fully state-owned Vietnam Southern Food Corporation-JSC (Vinafood 2), one of the country's biggest rice exporters, had sold the lands to Viet Han at a throwaway price in 2015.

Vinafood 2 had received the two plots from the city for constructing office buildings, commercial centers and hotels.

It entered into a joint venture with Viet Han to develop the lands.

But it sold them to the company at VND730 billion ($30.8 million) while the inspectors placed their market price in November 2015 at more than VND1.979 trillion, representing a loss of at least VND1.24 trillion to the city's coffers.

Inspectors also found Vinafood 2 had illegally mortgaged its immovable assets to borrow thousands of billions of dong from banks.

Viet Han has been instructed to hand over the lands to the city's Land Fund Development Center.

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