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Vu Nhom faces new criminal charge
Friday,  8/10/2018, 19:19 

Vu Nhom faces new criminal charge

The Saigon Times Daily

Phan Van Anh Vu, alias Vu Nhom - PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – The Ministry of Public Security announced on August 9 that its investigative police agency has launched additional criminal proceedings against former business tycoon Phan Van Anh Vu, alias Vu Nhom, and four others for violating regulations on the management and use of State assets and for causing losses and wasting resources in the central coastal city of Danang.

The new charges are based on Article 219 of the 2015 Penal Code. The police are investigating the criminal case under Decision No.16/QD-C44-P4 dated April 17, 2018.

The other defendants are Nguyen Cong Lang, 64, former director of Danang Housing Management Company; Phan Ngoc Thach, 57, former general director of Danang Tourism JSC; Tran Phi, 63, former general director of Danang Export-Import JSC; and Huynh Tan Loc, 66, general director of Danang Trimexco Company.

On Wednesday, the ministry issued decisions to prosecute the accused, put them under house arrest and search their houses. The Supreme People’s Court approved these criminal proceedings in line with prevailing regulations on the same day.

Vu was earlier charged with deliberate disclosure of State secrets, tax evasion and abuse of his position and power.

He was detained in Singapore early this year with two passports---one fake and one real---and was swiftly deported back to Vietnam. At a one-day closed-door trial in Hanoi late last month, he received a nine-year prison sentence for deliberately divulging State secrets, though his crimes were not detailed on national security reasons.

Regarding the new case, Colonel Tran Muu, deputy director of the Danang Police Department, told Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper on Thursday that local investigators had coordinated with their counterparts at the ministry to raid the homes of the four former directors.

They were accused of being involved in the sales of public houses in Danang to Vu, according to the investigators.

As reported by Nguoi Lao Dong, the People’s Committee of Danang had sold a house worth more than VND3.7 billion (US$159,000) at 106 Tran Phu Street and transferred its land use rights to Danang Export-Import JSC in 2008. The company then transferred the rights to Bac Nam 79 Construction JSC, owned by Vu.

In 2009, the municipal government agreed in principle to sell a house at No.100 Bach Dang Street and transfer its land use rights to Danang Tourism JSC. The company declared the name of the rights beneficiary as Ngo Ang Hung, a relative of Vu. In late 2015, Vu took over the land use rights and attached assets.

Similarly, in 2010, the municipal government sold a house worth more than VND62.7 billion ($2.6 million) at 57 Le Duan Street and transferred its land use rights to Danang Trimexco Company. Vu was also allegedly the mastermind behind this deal.

In 2011, Nhat Gia Phuc Investment JSC sought permission from the municipal government to purchase a public house at 39 Pasteur Street, which the company was renting at the time.

After purchasing the house for more than VND15.1 billion (US$646,800), Nhat Gia Phuc handed it over to Vu. In May 2017, Vu transferred the house to Hung.

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