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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Dinh La Thang faces another jail term

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HCMC – The prosecution on December 12 proposed sentencing Dinh La Thang, former Minister of Transport, to 10-11 years behind bars for his alleged violations in the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway project that caused a loss of VND725 billion for the State.

According to the prosecution, although Thang rejected an indictment against him, his violations have been proved, the local media reported.

He must take the most responsibility for the violations of the officials of the Ministry of Transport in the bidding for the HCMC-Trung Luong expressway toll collection, according to HCMC prosecutors.

Besides Thang, the prosecutors suggested a prison term of six to seven years for Nguyen Hong Truong, former Deputy Minister of Transport.

Jail terms of three to six years were proposed for five other ex-officials of the Ministry of Transport.

They were accused of violating regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness.

Meanwhile, Dinh Ngoc He, former deputy general director of Thai Son Corporation under the Ministry of National Defense, faced life imprisonment for allegedly swindling to appropriate assets and a jail term of 13-14 years for allegedly abusing his power and position to make an impact on others to gain benefits, resulting in a combined punishment of life imprisonment.

The prosecution also proposed that the HCMC People’s Court ask Dinh Ngoc He to pay back VND725 billion to the State.

The remaining 12 defendants, who were determined as He’s accomplices, may stay behind bars for two to 12 years on the charge of swindling to appropriate assets.

Dinh La Thang is serving his combined sentences of 30 years for irregularities in two cases at the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group and the Ocean Commercial Bank. Last month, he was prosecuted for his alleged violations at an ethanol plant project in the northern province of Phu Tho, causing losses of over VND543 billion.

According to the prosecution, in 2004, the then prime minister approved the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway project, which received VND9.8 trillion from the State budget and was put into operation in February 2012. Cuu Long Corporation for Investment Development and Project Management of Infrastructure, under the Ministry of Transport, was in charge of operating the project.

In February 2012, Thang directed Duong Tuan Minh, former general director of Cuu Long Corporation, to make it possible for Dinh Ngoc He’s Yen Khanh Company, to win the bidding for the expressway toll collection although he knew the company was operating at a loss, causing losses for the State.

Dinh Ngoc He used falsified documents, which turned Yen Khanh from a loss-making to a profit-making company, for the bidding. After winning the bidding, he illegally interfered with the Transport Ministry’s management software to artificially lower toll revenues.

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