Top HCMC official probed for state-owned property botch-up

Top HCMC official probed for state-owned property botch-up
Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee, attends a meeting in 2018. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Khoa.
A deputy chairman of HCMC has been put under criminal investigation for mismanagement of state-owned property.

Tran Vinh Tuyen, deputy chairman of Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee, and at least three other officials are being investigated for "offenses against regulations on the management and use of state-owned property that lead to losses or wastefulness," a source from the Supreme People's Procuracy, the country's top prosecution unit, said Saturday.

Tuyen and the other officials were involved in state property mismanagement at state-owned agro-forestry and fisheries company Saigon Agriculture Corporation (Sagri), whose CEO was arrested last year.

The launch of an investigation into Tuyen and other officials was approved Friday night, prosecutors said.

Among the probed is Tran Trong Tuan, 51, former secretary of District 3 and former director of the municipal Department of Construction. Tuan was assigned to become the deputy chief of office of HCMC Party Committee half a month prior.

Tuyen was found to have approved the transfer of a 37,000-square-meter property in District 9 to private owners at prices cheaper than the market rates in 2016. The transfer was proposed by Tuan.

Tuyen has not been detained for investigation, and still participated in a HCMC People’s Council meeting Saturday morning.

His residence in Binh Thanh District and workplace are being searched by police for evidence.

Tuyen, 55, became deputy chairman of the municipal People’s Committee in April 2016. Before, he was chairman of District 1 People’s Committee, party secretary of District 1, chief of office of HCMC Party Committee, and head of inspection under HCMC Party Committee.

Besides Tuyen, several others were also investigated last year regarding state-owned firm Sagri. They include Van Trong Dung, former chairman of the Sagri board of members, Nguyen Thi Thuy, former head accountant of Sagri, Nguyen Thanh My, former deputy head of Sagri’s planning and investment department, and Le Tan Hung, former general director of Sagri. Hung is a younger brother of former HCMC Party Chief Le Thanh Hai.

They were all investigated for the alleged mismanagement of state-owned properties.

State auditors had found several instances of misconduct by Sagri in renting land, making unauthorized investment collaborations and developing real estate on land allocated for agro-forestry-fishery production.

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