HÀ NỘI — The Ministry of Public Security’s Police Investigation Agency has prosecuted Phí Thái Bình, former chairman of the Vinaconex board of directors, for violating construction regulations and causing serious consequences.
Bình, who is also former vice chairman of the city’s People’s Committee, was found to be responsible for the mismanagement during the time he held the position at the company.
State-owned Vinaconex was the investor of the Đà River water pipeline, with total investment of VNĐ1.45 trillion (US$64.4million). The pipeline was put into operation in 2009 and has been ruptured several times in the past several years, causing serious impact on some 177,000 city households due to the water shortage.
Former CEO of Vinaconex Nguyễn Văn Tuân and five other executives also face charges for violating construction and investment regulations.
They are all on bail due to old age and poor health.
The decision has been handed over to the Supreme People’s Court.
Previously, the Police Investigation Agency had announced the results of the investigation on the Đà River water pipeline. Construction of the pipeline, which carried water from Đà River to Hà Nội, was completed in 2004 and put into use five years later.
However, the pipeline was ruptured 14 times between 2012 and 2015, leading to a shortage of water for 177,000 households for nearly 350 hours and an estimated loss of 1.5 million cu.m of water. The company has spent more than VNĐ13 billion ($572,900) to fix the incidents.
The investigation’s results revealed that members of the Vinaconex’s board of directors, including Phí Thái Bình, Nguyễn Văn Tuân, Tô Ngọc Thành, Hoàng Hợp Thương and Vũ Đình Chầm, decided to use substandard untested fiberglass composite, causing massive ruptures, and chose a disqualified and inexperienced contractor to supply the poor quality pipeline for the project.
In March 2016, the Supreme People’s Court prosecuted nine officials for violating regulations on investment and construction management. Several months later, Bình and his former partners were proposed to be exempt from criminal prosecution, leading to outrage among the public. — VNS