Former Da Nang chairmen jailed over violations in state asset, land management

Monday, January 13, 2020, 22:26 GMT+7
Former Da Nang chairmen jailed over violations in state asset, land management
Tran Van Minh (L) and Van Huu Chien, former chairmen of the People’s Committee in the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang, are seen in this collage of photos taken on January 13, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Two former chairmen of the central Vietnamese city of Da Nang have been handed jail terms totaling 29 years for serious violations in the management of state-owned assets and land.

The Hanoi People’s Court on Monday tried Tran Van Minh, Van Huu Chien, Phan Van Anh Vu, and 18 other defendants.

Minh, 65, who was chairman of the Da Nang People’s Committee for the 2006-11 tenure, was slapped with 12 years in prison for “violating regulations on management and use of state assets, resulting in serious losses” and another five years for “violating regulations on land management.”

Minh’s combined sentence is 17 years.

Chien, 66, chairman of the Da Nang administration in 2011-15, received a total of 12 years for similar offenses.

Vu, a business tycoon known for owning different companies and multiple pieces of ‘prime real estate’ in Da Nang, got a combined 25-year jail term for similar crimes.

<em>Phan Van Anh Vu stands trial at a court in Hanoi on January 13, 2020.</em> <em>Photo:</em> Danh Trong / Tuoi Tre
Phan Van Anh Vu stands trial at a court in Hanoi on January 13, 2020. Photo: Danh Trong / Tuoi Tre

As Vu was previously sentenced to 30 years in a separate case, he will receive a joint sentence of 30 years behind bars.

The other 18 defendants were jailed for 18 months to six years for their roles in the case.

According to the indictment, Vu took advantage of his close relationship with local leaders and officials, who were authorized to make decisions in the assignment and transfer of public real estate, to claim most of the properties without having to join a bidding process as per regulations.

Minh, Chien, and their accomplices intentionally violated regulations on the management and use of state assets and rules on land management from 2006 to 2014 in order to help Vu obtain an enormous amount of illicit profit.

Vu was given the rights to manage and use 15 state-owned houses and land plots, and six real estate projects, resulting in damage worth VND22 trillion (US$951.6 million).

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