Vietnamese official fired for land-use violations

By Ba Do   October 27, 2017 | 09:33 pm GMT+7

Pham Sy Quy has been fired as the director of Yen Bai Province's environment department.

Authorities in the northern province of Yen Bai on Friday dismissed the province's environmental chief after the Government Inspectorate named and shamed him for his asset declaration violations.

Pham Sy Quy has accordingly lost his posts as the director of the province's Department of Natural Resources and Environment. He has also received a warning from the Communist Party, and has been reassigned as the vice chief of staff of the provincial legislature.

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Pham Sy Quy, director of Yen Bai Province's environment department, listens to the results of an inspection into his violations at a meeting on Monday. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Thanh

The local government also said it is considering disciplinary actions against other officials also involved in the case.

Earlier this week, the Government Inspectorate, the top watchdog of the central government, issued a report saying that Quy is responsible for multiple violations that also involve his wife Hoang Thi Hue.

The inspection was launched after media reports raised questions in June over his hillside complex that includes a villa, stilt houses, a pond and a garden in the provincial capital. The land in the picture had been designated as forest and agricultural land, which means residential use is restricted.

According to inspectors, Yen Bai Town approved Hue’s application to convert the use of the land in 2015 without specifying why it was justifiable. The decision clashed with several land management rules set by the provincial government at the time.

The town also granted Hue a license to use the land without charging her the standard fee.

Quy was deputy director and then director of the province’s environment department at the time.

Between August last year and February 2017, Hue collected fees from 14 local families who wanted to transfer the use of their land.

This was in breach of Vietnam's Law on Corruption as Quy had enabled his wife to do business in the jurisdiction he was charged with overseeing, the inspectors said.

He also violated regulations regarding asset declarations by failing to list a number of properties, including more than 7,900 square meters of residential land, more than 27,500 square meters of agricultural land and a 600-square-meter house.

He also neglected to mention bank loans worth more than VND9.1 billion ($400,480) and 60 ounces of gold that he owes to friends, the inspection found.

Quy's lack of transparency has raised questions and earned bad publicity for Vietnamese government officials, the report said.

“His violations merit strict punishment,” it added.

Yen Bai Province had planned to look into the matter internally, but turned the case over to the government due to the fact Quy's sister is the provincial Party chief.