An aerial view of the 139-kilometer-long Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway in central Vietnam – PHOTO: TNO

The Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on Friday that the move was part of a probe into a serious construction mismanagement case involving the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC), VEC’s Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway Project Management Board and other units.

Taking the available evidence into account, investigators recently pressed charges against nine individuals who were the former leaders and senior officials in charge of six construction packages in the expressway.

The individuals were suspected of breaking regulations on the investment in construction facilities, which led to serious consequences, according to the 2015 Penal Code.

They include Nguyen Manh Cuong, former deputy director of the expressway’s construction package No. 1; Tran Nang Ha and Chu Tue Minh, former deputy directors of package No. 2; Vu Dung, Do Tan Nam and Nguyen Van Canh, former directors of package No. 4; Luong Chung Dung, former head of package No. 5; Luong Van Tien, former head of package No. 6; and Nguyen Hong Phuoc, former deputy director of package No. 7.

According to investigators, the ex-leaders had committed wrongdoings during the construction and acceptance phase of the four-lane expressway.

The expressway was developed by the State-owned VEC in five years at a total cost of VND34.5 trillion (US$1.7 billion), funded by government bond sales and loans from the World Bank and the Japan International Cooperation Agency.

The first section connecting Danang to Quang Nam Province’s Tam Ky City was opened for traffic in August 2017, and the last section from Tam Ky to Quang Ngai Province followed suit in September 2018.

Seen as an artery road linking the country’s economic hubs, the expressway saw numerous parts riddled with potholes, some measuring up to half a meter wide, just several weeks later.

At least nine former executives and chief contractors in connection with the Danang-Tam Ky section were accused of irregularities during its construction and work approval phase.

Investigators alleged that the contractors and inspection consultants had failed to meet the technical and design criteria for the expressway, which was the main reason behind the poor quality. SGT


Gia Phong