Vietnamese real estate tycoon gets 9 years in prison for revealing state secrets

By Bao Ha   July 30, 2018 | 07:19 am PT
Vietnamese real estate tycoon gets 9 years in prison for revealing state secrets
Phan Van Anh Vu, a fallen Da Nang tycoon, stands trial in Hanoi on Monday for disclosing state secrets. Photo by Vietnam News Agency
A real estate tycoon and two former police officials are to be jailed for 6-9 years for “deliberatly disclosing state secrets.”

At a closed trial on Monday, the Hanoi People's Court sentenced Phan Van Anh Vu, 43, a real estate tycoon in Da Nang, to 9 years in prison, while Phan Huu Tuan, 63, former lieutenant general and former deputy general director of the General Intelligence Department under the Ministry of Public Security received a 7-year sentence. Nguyen Huu Bach, 55, a former defense ministry official got 6 years in prison.

As the case involved state secrets, details of the crimes committed by Vu and other defendants were not revealed. 

Prior to his downfall, Vu was one of the biggest property investors in Da Nang. He was the chairman of three major property companies and a shareholder in a number of other projects in the central city.

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

In addition to the charge of disclosing state secrets, Vu is also under criminal investigation for "tax evasion" and "abuse of power in performance of official duties" in separate cases, which include a graft case at Dong A Bank and a land management violation case in Da Nang.

Investigations into Vu's violations resulted in the arrests of Tuan, Bach and a former Da Nang chairman, and several former Da Nang officials are also under investigation for land management violations.

At a meeting last Saturday, the Politburo of the Communist Party of Vietnam also punished Lieutenant General Bui Van Thanh, Deputy Minister of Public Security for signing a decision allowing Vu to travel abroad and for requesting a diplomatic passport for him, although the real estate tycoon was not qualified to get one.

Thanh has been dismissed from all Party positions and is facing further disciplinary action by the government, including demotion in the police force.

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