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Vietnam Expressway Corporation officials jailed for violations causing losses

By Thanh Lam   December 6, 2021 | 09:52 pm PT
Vietnam Expressway Corporation officials jailed for violations causing losses
Le Quang Hao (L) and Nguyen Manh Hung, deputy general directors of Vietnam Expressway Corporation. Photo by Nghe An Province's news portal
Two senior officials at the state-owned Vietnam Expressway Corporation have been sentenced to jail for committing violations that caused losses while building the Da Nang – Quang Ngai Expressway.

A Hanoi court handed Le Quang Hao, 45, and Nguyen Manh Hung, 46, both deputy general directors at the company, six and seven years for causing a loss of VND811 billion ($35 million) to the government because of poor construction.

They were found guilty of "flouting provisions of the laws on investment in construction leading to serious consequences," by the court Monday.

Thirty four others got 8.5 years to two years suspended sentences, with 10 getting suspended sentences.

Among the accused was Japanese national Takao Inami, 72, who was chief consultant and head of the Da Nang - Quang Ngai Expressway project supervision office.

But because of his age, contributions to many key projects and confession and testimony in court, the jury decided to waive criminal responsibility and instead ordered his immediate expulsion from the country.

The first expressway in the central region links Da Nang City and Quang Ngai Province. Its construction began in 2013, a part of it opened to traffic in 2017 and it was completed in September 2018.

A damaged section of the Da Nang - Quang Ngai Expressway in 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh

A damaged section of the Da Nang - Quang Ngai Expressway in 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Dac Thanh

Complaints about the construction quality first surfaced in 2018 when it developed cracks and potholes just a month after opening following a heavy downpour.

They were hundreds of centimeters in size and 5-10 cm deep.

The 139-km (86.4 miles) expressway cost VND34.5-trillion ($1.4 billion) to build, with the money coming from loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the World Bank and counterpart funds from the government.

Officials found 65 km of the expressway not meeting technical and design requirements, causing losses of VND811 billion as the VEC had to temporarily stop collecting toll and rebuild the damaged sections.

 
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