Five current and former officials from the Office of Natural Resources and Environment of Tra Vinh City were arrested on charges of breaching regulations on land management and usage which caused losses totaling US$5.1 million.
|Nguyen Van Chien, former head of the Office of Natural Resources and Environment of Tra Vinh City, listens as an investigator reads out a warrant for his arrest|
Investigators from the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh started legal proceedings against the five individuals on Tuesday, reported the Vietnam News Agency.
Nguyen Van Chien, 56, had allegedly signed 241 files that caused total losses of more than VND39 billion for the State during his tenure as head of the office.
Le Huu Le, 48, who is serving as a deputy director of a project management unit at the provincial Department of Natural Resources and Environment, was found to have signed 57 files, causing a total loss of over VND10 billion, while he was the deputy head of the office.
Meanwhile, Ly Kien Trung, 48, deputy head of the office, has approved 383 files, leading to over VND66.5 billion in damages.
Tran Thanh Son, 45, is now an officer in charge of natural resources and environment with the People’s Committee of Ward 9, Tra Vinh City. When he was an officer for the office, he allegedly appraised 175 files, which caused nearly VND29 billion in losses.
A current employee of the office, Nguyen Trong Nghia, 40, has made an assessment for 440 files, resulting in losses of roughly VND74 billion.
Investigators have raided the houses and workplaces of the accused and seized evidence.
In 2018, the Inspection Commission of the Party Central Committee concluded that three senior officials with the People’s Committee of Tra Vinh City were negligent in the management of land.
Their negligence enabled realty brokers and some State staff in the city to exploit loopholes in State policies for their own gain, leading to major losses for the State budget.
The commission sent their findings to the Investigative Police Agency of Tra Vinh Province. Investigators later found over 700 households had transferred their land use rights without conforming to regulations.
They also found that some State officials had colluded with realtors to entice families and women whose children were war martyrs to change their land use purposes with illegal tax exemptions and reductions. Their illicit acts cost the State roughly VND120 billion. SGT