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Former HCMC vice chairman indicted on new charge
Thursday,  10/29/2020, 14:27 

Former HCMC vice chairman indicted on new charge

The Saigon Times

Nguyen Thanh Tai, former vice chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee - PHOTO: MINISTRY OF PUBLIC SECURITY

HCMC - Nguyen Thanh Tai, former permanent vice chairman of the HCMC People’s Committee in the 2011-2015 tenure, has been indicted for his alleged involvement in an illegal exchange of public land.

The People’s Supreme Procuracy issued the indictment against Tai, businesswoman Duong Thi Bach Diep, director of Diep Bach Duong Real Estate Co., Ltd, and eight other accomplices for their alleged violations over the exchange of a land lot at 57 Cao Thang Street in District 3 for another one owned by the city government at 185 Hai Ba Trung Street in the same district, the local media reported.

Diep was indicted for allegedly swindling to appropriate the public asset, while Tai and eight others were charged with negligence leading to serious consequences.

The eight accomplices comprise former deputy director of the HCMC Finance Department Tran Nam Trang, former director of the HCMC Light Music Center in District 3 Vy Nhat Tao, former director of the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Thanh Rum, former deputy director of the department Le Ton Thanh, former deputy heads of the HCMC government office Huynh Kim Phat and Le Van Thanh, former deputy director of the municipal Department of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Thanh Nhan and former director of the department Dao Anh Kiet.

According to the indictment, the land lot at 185 Hai Ba Trung Street was where the State-run HCMC Light Music Center was headquartered. As the headquarters deteriorated, Tao wanted to upgrade it.

Diep later met Tao and suggested that Diep Bach Duong Real Estate Co., Ltd. would take over the 185 Hai Ba Trung land lot to build a hotel and restaurant complex. In exchange, the company would give the 57 Cao Thang land lot to the HCMC Light Music Center as well as VND20 billion to help the center build a new headquarters. Tao agreed with the deal.

Tao later pointed out the benefits of the exchange to Rum, who held a meeting gathering leaders of the HCMC Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism and they agreed with the deal.

Diep then met Tai to present the exchange plan and asked the HCMC government for permission. Tai consulted the then HCMC chairman Le Hoang Quan, who approved the exchange. However, Quan said the exchange must be approved by the 09 Steering Committee, under the municipal Department of Finance, which was mandated to handle and rearrange State-owned land and housing in the city.

Tai then assigned the relevant agencies to seek permission from the HCMC Department of Finance.

However, Diep did not hand over the land use right certificate for the 57 Cao Thang land lot to the HCMC Light Music Center. In addition, after receiving the land use right certificate for the 185 Hai Ba Trung land lot, Diep used it as collateral to borrow VND160 billion from the now-defunct Southern Bank.

The indictment also showed that Tai was not in charge of handling and rearranging State assets but signed documents approving the exchange on March 5, 2010. He was negligent in verifying the legality of the 57 Cao Thang land lot, so he did not know the land lot had been used as collateral for a loan.

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