return icon

When officials join hands with ‘preying stalkers’ in land bids

Many wrongdoings related to land auctions and bids have been exposed recently. Most of the defendants in the land irregularity cases are high-ranking officials of agencies and institutions.


Six suspects who were leaders of Binh Duong province



On June 30, the C03 Agency under the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) filed charges and detained a number of former and current leaders in Binh Duong province for investigation of “violating regulations on State asset management and use, causing losses and waste”.

These include Tran Thanh Liem, former Chair of Binh Duong, and Nguyen Thanh Trung, former Chief Secretariat and now Deputy Chair of the province.

Also in June, HCM City Police filed charges against four suspects related to the case of selling 32 hectares of public land at a reduced price to Quoc Cuong Gia Lai Company. The suspects include Tat Thanh Cang, former Deputy HCM City Party Secretary.

Most recently, Hanoi Police filed charges and detained Nguyen Thi Loan, Chair of Vimedimex, and accomplices for investigation of the charge of violating regulations on asset auctions.

The 5 hectare land plot in Co Duong commune was estimated to have value of VND500 billion. However, Loan colluded with officers to adjust the land value down to VND300 billion. A company where Loan holds a controlling stake won the auction at the price of VND20 million per square meter. One month later, Loan sold the land plot at the price of VND80-100 million per square meter.

Loopholes in land bids

Lawyer Dang Hoai Vu from Dang Hoai Vu and Associates Law Office said that corruption cases related to land mostly have involvement of high-ranking officials. Therefore, violations are difficult to discover until after inspections. Vu said this type of crime is sophisticated embezzlement.

Blaming the violations on loopholes in land bidding policies, Vu said that chairs of provincial People’s Committees have the authority to approve land starting prices submitted by the local departments of finance and natural resources and the environment based on the land price framework. But there is a big gap between land prices in the framework and real market prices.

The land starting price is approved by one individual, so there can be problems in transparency.

Moreover, institutions and individuals may exploit the regulation in cases in which land is allocated without a land-use right auction to get land and then change the land-use purpose.

The regulations on exceptions in land-use right auctions may create loopholes for individuals with high positions and power to not publicize the auction and open auctions to only one individual or institution, paving the way for the individual or institution to obtain the land.

Lawyer Dang Van Cuong, Head of Chinh Phap Law Office, said that rigging is found in many cases of violating regulations on bids, and contractors are chosen on the basis of “backdoor relations”, not contractors’ real capability.

The cadres and high-ranking officials in high positions have deep understanding about socio-economic management policies, so they have experience and know how to circumvent the laws and disperse and hide the assets they obtained in illegal ways.

Cuong noted that there is always a high-ranking official’s hand in most violations of regulations related to land. They lend a hand to individuals or institutions to convert land-use purposes and to sell State land cheaply at “preferential prices”.

He said that the officials are corrupt individuals and representatives of moral degradation. These officials also could be the ones with low capability and mismanagement abilities.

“Land is a valuable asset, the ‘fatty bait’ that many people hunt for. In order to obtain the bait, one needs to join hands with individuals who have the right to manage the bait,” he explained.

Giving power to certain individuals and cadres, to some extent, is a double-edged knife. If the cadres don’t have capability and are unethical, they will make illegal decisions that cause immeasurable consequences.

Cuong agreed that there are existing legal loopholes in land bidding. The current laws only stipulate the auction of land-use rights in the case of land allocation or land lease which are not yet strictly regulated.

Auctioning is a must for land put under the management of enterprises when changing land-use purposes.

The provisions about subjects who receive allocated and leased land without auctions stipulated in Article 118 of the Land Law are still too general and not sufficiently detailed.

Among the loopholes, experts agree that land valuation that doesn’t truly reflect market prices is the biggest problem. This paves the way for people to commit wrongdoings, causing losses to the State when transferring land-use rights from State-owned enterprises to private enterprises. 

T. Nhung

Famous businesswomen meet in prison because of land irregularities

Famous businesswomen meet in prison because of land irregularities

Nguyen Thi Loan, Chau Thi Thu Nga, Pham Thi Tuyet Nhung and Truong Thi Kim Soan, once famous businesswomen in the real estate market, have had to pay for their illegal business affairs.

Medicine, land baron detained for law violations

Medicine, land baron detained for law violations

The Hanoi Police have prosecuted and detained Nguyen Thi Loan, Chairwoman of Vimedimex Medi-Pharma JSC, for alleged violations of land auction regulations.



HCM City works hard to better quality of human resources


Vietnam sees more chances for coffee exports to the US

Vietnam stops announcing new daily Covid-19 infection from June 29

The Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday said that from June 29, it stops posting new daily Covid-19 infection. The daily announcement will have only the numbers of recovered cases, deaths, and vaccinated people.

Vietnam considers axing additional taxes to lower retail price of petrol

The Ministry of Finance has submitted a proposal to the Prime Minister in a bid to reduce the excise tax and value added tax, in addition to the environmental protection tax, as it seeks control rising petrol prices.

For sustained success, Vietnam should learn from the mistakes of others

Right now, Vietnam is full of promise. The recent ratings upgrade by S&P Global makes it likely that the country will be the next “rising star”, referring to the achievement of its first investment grade rating in the next few years.

Airlines busier, but still incurring losses

Despite the increase in the number of passengers, air carriers are still incurring losses due to the fuel price increase.

Ministry of Health explains reasons for not announcing end of COVID-19 pandemic

If Vietnam declares the end of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, it will meet many difficulties in pandemic prevention and control and be hit by slower economic recovery, the Ministry of Health (MoH) has said.

Paris square named after Vietnamese pilot

A small square in the center of the 16th arrondissement of Paris now bears the name of Do Huu Vi, a Vietnamese national who was one of the first pilots of the French army.

UNCLOS greatly contributes to promotion of regional maritime cooperation: experts

The 8th Ocean Dialogue took place in Hanoi on June 29 under the theme “40th Anniversary of UNCLOS: Promoting maritime cooperation in Southeast Asia”.

Vietnam, UK hold 4th defence policy dialogue in London

Vietnamese and UK officials said they wish to turn defence cooperation into a pillar in the countries’ overall relations at the 1st session of the 4th Vietnam-UK defence policy dialogue held in London on June 29.

International Competition creates architectural plan for Vung Tau

Seeking a unique architectural plan and tourist landmarks for the coastal city of Vung Tau, Five Star International Group (Five Star Group) and Agritour & Green World organised an International Design Competition.

Investors rush to sell coastal villas to cut losses

Hundreds of million-dollar seaside villas in Da Nang, the “capital” of resort property, have been idle for over two years.

Global providers’ expansion plans make Hanoi coworking supply rise

The Vietnamese coworking market is growing exponentially as more and more people become aware of the benefits this niche brings from a business and productivity point of view.

Personal information needs more protection in Vietnam

Government agencies’ awareness about protection of personal data on online platforms remains low, according to speakers at a seminar held recently by UNDP Vietnam and the Institute for Policy Research and Media Development (IPS).

‘Make in Vietnam’ platforms and sovereignty milestones in digital space

Being open to the world but not depending on technology is a challenge for many countries, not only Vietnam.