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Police raid homes of former Danang City leaders
Thursday,  Apr 19, 2018,19:21 (GMT+7)

Police raid homes of former Danang City leaders

HCMC – Police at the Ministry of Public Security on April 18 raided the residences of Tran Van Minh and Van Huu Chien, who both used to serve as chairmen of the central coastal city of Danang, as part of an ongoing investigation of a case involving Phan Van Anh Vu, alias Vu Nhom.

Investigators, together with officials from the People’s Procuracy of Vietnam, arrived at the house of Van Huu Chien in Hai Chau District on April 18 morning, Thanh Nien newspaper reports.

Chien, who served as chairman of Danang City in the 2011-2014 tenure, was also present as investigators conducted the inspection. They later carried out a search of his home.

During that time, another group of investigators were also present at the house of another former city chairman, Tran Van Minh, in the same district. Minh led the city in the 2006-2011 tenure.

They went through the essential legal procedures to file charges against Minh. He is now in police custody.

The district’s police chief Tran Phuoc Huong confirmed with Thanh Nien that the Ministry of Public Security asked the city police to jointly raid the homes of the two ex-leaders.

The Ministry of Public Security announced in a notice on its website on April 17 that both Chien and Minh were arrested for allegedly violating regulations on management and use of State assets, which resulted in losses and wastefulness, and went against State rules on land management.

The investigative police agency under the ministry last September launched a probe into irregularities at nine property projects and 31 public land lots and houses in Danang City all of which had been transacted since 2006. Two of the land lots under investigation were used to build a home and a company office both belonging to Phan Van Anh Vu, who is now also in police custody.

Investigators were quoted by the media that the former chairmen of Danang approved policies to sell numerous plots of public land and real estate projects, resulting in a loss of VND3.4 trillion (US$150 million) for the city.

Vu was found to be involved in many of these deals. The 43-year-old business tycoon was the chairman of three companies – Bac Nam 79 Construction JSC, Nova Bac Nam 79 JSC, and The Sunrise Bay Danang. He also acquired stakes in several other entities such as Seaprodex and DongA Bank.

Last December, authorities conducted a search of his house before issuing an international arrest warrant for him. He was detained by Singaporean authorities later that month for violating immigration law, and then deported back to Vietnam where he was arrested upon arrival at Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi City in January.

A month later, the police charged Vu for deliberately disclosing State secrets, evading taxes, and abusing his position and power while on duty. He is being held in custody for a period of four months pending further investigation.

Police on April 17 detained Phan Huu Tuan, former deputy general director of the General Department of Intelligence at the Ministry of Public Security, on alleged charges of deliberate disclosure of State secrets. Another senior official of the ministry, Nguyen Huu Bach, was also placed in police custody for the same reason as Tuan.

Individuals involved in the investigation were all present at the Danang Office of the Ministry of Public Security on April 18, according to Thanh Nien newspaper.

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