Illegal sand mining rampant in Vietnam's Red River, authorities do nothing

By Gia Chinh   July 7, 2018 | 04:35 pm PT
Illegal sand mining rampant in Vietnam's Red River, authorities do nothing
A vessel exploits sand illegally on the Red River in Hanoi's Phuc Tho District at the presence of the authorities. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh
Destruction continues as Hanoi's authorities plead helplessness, say neighboring province issued an illegal license.

A section of the Red River is being illegally mined and residents have complained in vain to local authorities about resultant land erosion.

This sorry state of affairs is current in the capital city’s Phuc Tho District.

Vessels belonging to the An Thinh Company have been dredging sand from sections of the Red River that flow through the district.

But the People’s Committee of Phuc Tho District has admitted it is not able to stop the illegal mining of sand by this company.

The admission followed local residents complaining to the authorities that the illegal mining was leading to land erosion in their village.

“Many vessels come here to mine sand,” said Nguyen Thi Ve, a 72-year-old resident.

“They heavily exploit sand in this area, causing land erosion in my village.”

Dozens of people in her neighborhood went to the People’s Committee office of Phuc Tho District on Thursday to express their concern over sand exploitation happening day and night.

The authorities confirmed that the vessels were operating illegally and admitted that their attempts to stop it had failed.

Le Anh Chien, deputy director of natural resource department at Phuc Tho District said that the miner was using a license wrongfully issued by the neighboring Vinh Phuc Province, which had no jurisdiction over the area in which the mining was taking place.

He said they have already reported the illegal mining to higher authorities since district authorities do not have the force, the equipment and the power to stop the sand mining company.

Hanoi chairman Nguyen Duc Chung told the press on Thursday that his administration will chalk out a plan to prevent and catch illegal sand miners.

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