Vietnam arrests 6 in illegal rare earth mining case

By Pham Du   October 19, 2023 | 10:50 pm PT
Vietnam arrests 6 in illegal rare earth mining case
Rare earth at a mine in northwestern Vietnam. Photo by VnExpress/Gia Chinh
Vietnamese police have arrested six people including three businessmen and seized around 13,700 tons of rare earth in an illegal mining case.

Doan Van Huan, chairman and CEO of Thai Duong Group, was detained on Thursday, together with his deputy CEO and chief accountant Nguyen Van Chinh, for charges of violating regulations on natural resources mining and accounting, causing serious consequences.

Officers from the Ministry of Public Security on the same day also arrested Dang Tran Chi, director of Hop Thanh Phat Company and his accountant Pham Thi Ha; Luu Anh Tuan, chairman of Vietnam Rare Earth JSC, and his accountant Nguyen Thi Hien, all for violating accounting regulations in trading rare earth with Thai Duong.

Investigators found the six were involved in the illegal mining of rare earth and iron ores in Yen Phu Commune, Van Yen District, Yen Bai Province in northern Vietnam. Police raids at 21 excavation and trading sites in Yen Bai and three other localities seized around 13,700 tons of rare earth and more than 1,400 tons of iron ores.

Huan and Chinh had earned VND632 billion (US$25.77 million) of illegal gains from directing the mining of 11,000 tons of rare earth and 152,000 tons of iron ores illegally.

The duo colluded with the other two companies to forge VAT documents in rare earth trade to leave more than VND28 billion out of the books, causing an estimated loss of more than VND7.5 billion to the government in tax evasion.

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