Vietnam probes 8 more officials as investigation of jailed tycoon expands

By Ba Do   September 19, 2018 | 09:41 am GMT+7
Vietnam probes 8 more officials as investigation of jailed tycoon expands
Nguyen Huu Tin, former deputy chairman of Ho Chi Minh City, speaks at a meeting in 2014. Photo by Huu Nguyen

Authorities are investigating alleged links between eight current and former leaders and officials with a man jailed for revealing state secrets.

Before his imprisonment following an in-camera trial last July Phan Van Anh Vu had been a real estate tycoon.

In Ho Chi Minh City, police have placed under house arrest the city's former Deputy Chairman Nguyen Huu Tin, 61; former Director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Dao Anh Kiet, 61; former Chief of Staff of the People's Committee, Le Van Thanh, 56; and head of the urban division in the People's Committee Office, Nguyen Thanh Chuong, 44.

Their houses and offices had been searched and they are being probed for "violating regulations on the management and use of state-owned property that led to losses or squander," according to the police.

In central Vietnam's Da Nang, Dao Tan Bang, 43, former Chief of Staff of the city Party unit, and Nguyen Viet Vinh, 40, former head of the urban division in the People's Committee Office, have been arrested.

Nguyen Van Can, 64, former Chief of Staff of the Da Nang People's Committee, and his deputy Phan Xuan It, 64, have been placed under house arrest.

All four are under criminal investigation for "violating regulations on land management."

The investigations are reportedly a result of the continuing probe into violations committed by Vu, 43, who used to be one of the biggest property developers in Da Nang. He was the chairman of three large property companies and a shareholder in a number of projects in the city.

Last December authorities issued an international arrest warrant for him for revealing state secrets after he was found to have left the country. Vu was detained in Singapore later that month for violating that country's immigration laws and deported to Vietnam, where he was arrested upon arrival.

He was sentenced to nine years in prison for "deliberately disclosing state secrets."

Vu is now under investigation for "tax evasion," "abuse of power or position in performance of official duties," "abuse of power or position to appropriate property," and "violating regulations on the management and use of state-owned property that led to losses or squander" in separate cases, which include alleged graft at Dong A Bank and violation of land regulations in Da Nang.

As part of their investigation into the land regulations violations, the Da Nang police have already begun investigations of several former leaders and business executives, including former city chairmen Tran Van Minh, 63, and Van Huu Chien, 64.

 
 
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