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Monday, October 18, 2021

Former Minister of Industry and Trade to stand trial next month

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HCMC – Former Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang is set to stand trial next month for his alleged involvement in the handover of a 6,000-square-meter land lot at 2-4-6 Hai Ba Trung Street in District 1, HCMC, to the private sector, which caused a loss of over VND2.7 trillion for the State.

The People’s Court of Hanoi has decided the schedule for the trial, which will take place for a week, starting from January 7, 2021, reported the local media.

Hoang was found to be involved in a case concerning the violation of regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness and rules on land management at the Ministry of Industry and Trade and HCMC.

Besides Hoang, nine accomplices will go on trial, including former head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Light Industry Department Phan Chi Dung, former HCMC vice chairman Nguyen Huu Tin, former deputy director of the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment Lam Nguyen Khoi, former director of the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment Dao Anh Kiet and former deputy chief of the secretariat of the HCMC People’s Committee Le Van Thanh.

The four others are Le Quang Minh, former head of the HCMC Department of Planning and Investment’s Infrastructure Development Division; Nguyen Thanh Chuong, former head of the Urban Division at the HCMC People’s Committee Office; Nguyen Lan Chau, an official of the Land Management Division of the HCMC Department of Natural Resources and Environment and Truong Van Ut, former deputy head of the Land Management Division at the department.

The Supreme People’s Procuracy had earlier prosecuted Hoang and Dung for allegedly violating regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing losses and wastefulness, while eight others were charged with allegedly infringing regulations on land management.

As many as 30 lawyers have registered to defend them.

According to the Supreme People’s Procuracy’s indictment, State-run Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Company (Sabeco), under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, received the site lot at 2-4-6 Hai Ba Trung Street to build its headquarters and a trade, service and office center.

However, Hoang, former Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Ho Thi Kim Thoa and Dung allowed Sabeco and three corporate shareholders – Attland Corporation, Ha An Investment, Trade and Service JSC and Me Linh Invest JSC – to set up the Sabeco Pearl Investment JSC to carry out the Saigon Me Linh Tower project at the location.

After Sabeco completed procedures for the project and proposed the HCMC government allow it to add officetels and apartments to the project, the Ministry of Industry and Trade later directed Sabeco to divest from the project.

Sabeco illegally transferred the rights to use the land lot worth more than VND3.8 trillion to Sabeco Pearl, causing a loss of over VND2.7 trillion for the State.

As Sabeco proposed Sabeco Pearl become the investor of the project, former HCMC vice chairman Tin and ex-leaders of the municipal government office and departments of Natural Resources-Environment and Planning-Investment approved the proposal, allowing Sabeco Pearl to lease the land without going through competitive bidding, which went against the regulations on land management.

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