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Former top cops face prison sentences of 30-42 months
Tuesday,  1/29/2019, 20:24 

Former top cops face prison sentences of 30-42 months

The Saigon Times Daily

Bui Van Thanh, former deputy minister of public security, stands at the courtroom while Phan Van Anh Vu sits at the left – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Two former deputy ministers at the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) are facing prison sentences of 2.5 years and 3.5 years for their alleged involvement in the illegal sale of State-owned properties in Danang and HCMC, as part of a broader probe into former property magnate and intelligence officer Phan Van Anh Vu, 44, alias Vu Nhom.

The Hanoi People’s Procuracy said at the court today, January 29, that there is sufficient evidence to prove the negligence of the former MPS leaders – Bui Van Thanh, 60, and Tran Viet Tan, 64 – leading to serious consequences, reported Tuoi Tre Online newspaper.

Primarily, the duo failed to oversee Vu; as a result, this individual took over seven projects for public apartments and land lots at prime locations in the two major cities in violation of prevailing regulations. 

In a previous session of the hearing, Thanh, who served as a deputy minister of the MPS between 2014 and 2018, admitted his violations as stated in the indictment and proposed the panel of judges consider the additional causes and circumstances of the case.

Thanh was in charge of the General Department of Logistics and Engineering – an agency responsible for the management of public housing and land at the MPS.

Despite never having held control over the General Department of Intelligence, Thanh, at Vu’s suggestion, signed a statement in May 2015, which suggested the then-prime minister approve a no-bid contract for the sale of a housing and land project at No.129 Pasteur Street in District 3, HCMC, to Vu’s firm – Nova Bac Nam 79 JSC – for police operations.

Thanh did not ask the General Department of Logistics and Engineering to file a written notice with the General Department of Intelligence. As a result, the latter failed to manage the project in terms of security.

When Vu made the illegal transfer of the project to the private sector, Thanh turned a blind eye and did not report it to any competent agency for timely intervention, resulting in a loss of over VND222 billion for the State.

Tran Viet Tan, who is stripped of his title as the former deputy minister for the 2011-2016 tenure, makes his presence at the courtroom – PHOTO: VNA

Tan, who served as general director at the General Department of Intelligence and later as a deputy minister of the MPS between 2009 and 2016, denied having signed any documents that permitted Vu to rent or purchase public houses and land.

Instead, he admitted that he had signed six documents to “speed up administrative procedures relevant to three projects.” Two documents relevant to a project at No.16 Bach Dang Street in Danang proposed the calculation of the land price for a company owned by Vu in order to quickly complete legal procedures.

Regarding other projects subjected to misuse, he remarked, “I take responsibility as a leader in charge of the field without fully grasping the issue.”

His misconduct enabled Vu to abuse his position and make use of official documents, which Tan had approved, to acquire public houses and land lots in the two major cities. The loss Tan caused amounted to over VND155 billion.

Meanwhile, Phan Huu Tuan, 64, former deputy general director of the General Department of Intelligence, and his subordinate, Nguyen Huu Bach, 56, admitted to working with each other to prepare and sign documents for Vu.

The pair claimed that their only purpose was to expedite projects for Vu to complete his professional work, stressing that they did not know that he had illegally transferred the projects.

As a result, they did not agree with the count of abuse of power. They suggested their violations could be regarded as negligence, due to the absence of inspections and supervision.

However, the procuracy noted that there were strong grounds to prove their guilt on this count.

The procuracy stated that Vu, who joined the police force as an intelligence officer for the General Department of Intelligence between 2009 and 2017, played a central role in the case and served as the mastermind.

Vu was found to have abused his position and used his companies to manipulate his accomplices. He also received all the illicit money, causing a hefty loss of over VND1.1 trillion for the State.

During the investigation and trial, Vu vehemently rejected the allegations, insisting that the projects his firms had either acquired or rented were in line with regulatory procedures and that their operations had all been reported to the General Department of Intelligence.

All the projects rightfully serve the purpose of developing the economic potential of the intelligence sector, he claimed. He only agreed to hand over two projects in Danang.

The procuracy suggested the court hand down a jail term of 2.5-3 years to the former top cop Thanh and 3-3.5 years to his counterpart Tan.

Meanwhile, Vu could face a prison sentence of 14-15 years; Tuan, six to seven years; and Bach, seven to eight years.

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