Sand exploitation out of control as violators threaten authorities

Last update 07:30 | 06/07/2017

VietNamNet Bridge – Sand exploitation brings huge profits even higher than that brought by illegal logging. Experts say.

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At a working session with Deputy PM Trinh Dinh Dung, local officials in the Mekong Delta asked for the right to exploit sand on a riverbed without consulting with local residents.

Under current law, to collect minerals, individuals and organizations must submit reports on the possible impact on the environment, and to dredge passage, they must consult with the local community.

Local authorities said nearly all residents will say ‘no’ to the investors’ proposal to exploit sand for fear of landslides.

As a result, construction projects lack sand and the sand price has soared by 200-300 percent in the last month.

In reply, Deputy PM said local authorities must fight against unapproved sand exploitation which may affect the river current and riverbank and damage people’s assets.

The fight between people and sand miners, who are encouraged by huge profits, has become violent. Two people in Vinh Long province were hospitalized some days ago because they were assaulted by the miners.

The fight between people and sand miners, who are encouraged by huge profits, has become violent. Two people in Vinh Long province were hospitalized some days ago because they were assaulted by the miners.

“Sand is… rice,” a reporter, who secretly watched over sand exploitation activities on Tien River said, saying that miners would be ready to fight if their activities were blocked.

Explaining the profit that sand exploiters make, he said at the sand mines on rivers, boat owners buy sand at VND40,000 per cubic meter, while they sell sand to the owners of building material shops at VND90,000 per cubic meter.

Meanwhile, people have to pay no less than VND170,000 per cubic meter.

The companies, which have licenses to exploit sand, have to pay VND600 to the state budget for every cubic meter of sand exploited in Vinh Long.

There are 28 sand mines licensed so far in the province with the total exploitation output of 3.6 cubic meters per annum.

Analysts believe the profit from sand exploitation is even higher than from logging. In principle, sand miners have to register with local authorities the exploitation output, but no one inspects how much they exploit.

The Can Tho City Police has seized tens of freighters carrying more than 10,000 cubic meters of sand, but the owners of the freighters could not show the documents to prove the origin of the sand.

Analysts also believe that sand miners are backed by underground forces.

When Bac Ninh province’s chair rejected a plan on dredging Duong River, he received a menacing message from a man named Nguyen Trong Phuong in Hanoi.


Illegal sand exploitation vessels seized in Hanoi

Sand exploitation destroying Red River

Thien Nhien

This entry was posted in Hút cát phi pháp - Illegal sand mining, Môi trường - Environment, Sand mining - hút cát and tagged , , , by Trần Đình Hoành. Bookmark the permalink.

About Trần Đình Hoành

I am an attorney in the Washington DC area, with a Doctor of Law in the US, attended the master program at the National School of Administration of Việt Nam, and graduated from Sài Gòn University Law School. I aso studied philosophy at the School of Letters in Sài Gòn. I have worked as an anti-trust attorney for Federal Trade Commission and a litigator for a fortune-100 telecom company in Washington DC. I have taught law courses for legal professionals in Việt Nam and still counsel VN government agencies on legal matters. I have founded and managed businesses for me and my family, both law and non-law. I have published many articles on national newspapers and radio stations in Việt Nam. In 1989 I was one of the founding members of US-VN Trade Council, working to re-establish US-VN relationship. Since the early 90's, I have established and managed VNFORUM and VNBIZ forum on VN-related matters; these forums are the subject of a PhD thesis by Dr. Caroline Valverde at UC-Berkeley and her book Transnationalizing Viet Nam. I translate poetry and my translation of "A Request at Đồng Lộc Cemetery" is now engraved on a stone memorial at Đồng Lộc National Shrine in VN. I study and teach the Bible and Buddhism. In 2009 I founded and still manage on positive thinking and two other blogs on Buddhism. In 2015 a group of friends and I founded website CVD - Conversations on Vietnam Development ( I study the art of leadership with many friends who are religious, business and government leaders from many countries. In October 2011 Phu Nu Publishing House in Hanoi published my book "Positive Thinking to Change Your Life", in Vietnamese (TƯ DUY TÍCH CỰC Thay Đổi Cuộc Sống). In December 2013 Phu Nu Publishing House published my book "10 Core Values for Success". I practice Jiu Jitsu and Tai Chi for health, and play guitar as a hobby, usually accompanying my wife Trần Lê Túy Phượng, aka singer Linh Phượng.

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