Vietnam arrests five people for toll booth tax evasion

By Phuong Son, Hoang Nam   January 1, 2019 | 12:16 am PT
Vietnam arrests five people for toll booth tax evasion
Vehicles stop at a toll station on the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway to pay toll fees. Photo by VnExpress/Huu Cong
Five officials of a toll fee collection company are being probed for concealing revenues on the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway.

Ngo Ba Thang, director of the Yen Khanh Company’s branch in Long An Province, which neighbors HCMC, and four other accomplices allegedly used illegal online software to hide toll station revenues on the first expressway in southern Vietnam.

In 2013, Yen Khanh had purchased the rights to collect toll fees for five years starting January 1, 2014, with a transfer price of around VND2 trillion ($86.6 million).

Police said Tuesday that they raided the suspects’ houses last week, seized documents and found online evidence related to the purchase and use of illegal software to evade taxes, causing losses for the state budget.

The amount of the money stolen has not been revealed.

The 62-km expressway costing VND10 trillion ($431.5 million) opened to traffic in 2010, helping cut travel time between HCMC and Mekong Delta provinces.

It has two main toll stations, one at the beginning of the expressway in HCMC’s Binh Chanh District and the other at the end of the road in Tien Giang Province’s Chau Thanh District.

Starting January 1, 2019, the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway will temporarily suspend toll fee collection.

The Directorate for Roads of Vietnam will be in charge of managing the expressway.

There are toll stations every 62 kilometers along the highway, according to a report released at a meeting of legislators in 2016. The standard distance set by the government is 70 kilometers.

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