Updated : 03/24/2017 13:55 GMT + 7
A huge amount of sand dredged in two river projects originally meant for protecting an eroding beach in the central Vietnamese province of Quang Nam has been directed away from its expected location.
In early 2017, the Quang Nam administration approved two dredging projects on Cua Dai River in the province’s Hoi An City, with the exploited sand meant to be used as an aid against erosion at the nearby Cua Dai beach.
However, ships transporting sand dredged from the projects have been spotted heading to locations other than Cua Dai beach.
On Thursday, Nguyen Minh Ly, chief of the secretariat of Hoi An administration, confirmed to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the two dredging projects on Cua Dai River are expected to result in 150,000 cubic meters of sand.
The Hoi An administration is in charge of one of the projects, and the other is overseen by the Vietnam Inland Waterway Administration.
The projects, contracted by Thanh Do Co. and Son Thinh Co., have so far dredged some 64,000 cubic meters.
Ly also admitted that some ships carrying sand from the projects were headed to nearby Da Nang City, instead of depositing the sand at Cua Dai beach, as expected.
“We have never permitted anyone to remove the sand from Hoi An,” Ly underlined.
The official said Quang Nam authorities are probing the case and verifying rumors that Cua Dai River sand is being transported to Da Nang under a hefty contract to serve a land reclamation project there.
“We will strictly sanction anyone violating our regulations,” Ly said.
“Cua Dai sand should not be taken anywhere for any reason.”
The official admitted, however, that it is not easy to keep a close watch on the sea and sand loading ships are able to easily dodge authorities.
“We are requesting the border guard unit in Cua Dai to join our supervision effort,” he said.
The rumored sand transporting contract in Da Nang, according to documents reviewed by Tuoi Tre, is between Da Nang-based Trung Nam Co. and Tuan Sinh Co. Ltd., headquartered in the northern province of Nam Dinh.
The contract stipulates that Trung Nam will supply sand dredged in Cua Dai to Tuan Sinh, with the resource transported directly from the beach in Quang Nam to the land reclamation site to be used for the Da Phuoc international urban area project in Da Nang.
The contract seeks to transport 1 million cubic meters of sand between January and September this year worth VND60 billion (US$2.68 million).
Bui Xuan Dinh, general director of Trung Nam Co., told Tuoi Tre the sand amount and contract value are only “estimated figures” rather than the final numbers.
Dinh said the contract calls for Tuan Sinh to transport the sand Trung Nam buys from Cua Dai to Da Nang.
“However, we have yet to finalize the buying deal and not a single grain of sand has been transported from Cua Dai to Da Nang,” he pressed.
Asked who the sand seller in Quang Nam is, Dinh refused to comment, claiming the information “is a business secret.”
Dinh added that besides Tuan Sinh, his company has also contracted two other firms, Hoang Duong Danh and Pham Tai, to transport sand to Da Nang.
“The contracts were signed but there is no sand available for the companies transport,” he said.
Dinh revealed that Tuan Sinh working on a dredging project near Hoi An but “it is the company’s own business, separate from the deal between us and Tuan Sinh”.