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Former top cops to go on trial for involvement in Vu Nhom case
The Saigon Times Daily
Tuesday,  Jan 15, 2019,17:58 (GMT+7)

Former top cops to go on trial for involvement in Vu Nhom case

The Saigon Times Daily

Bui Van Thanh (L) and Tran Viet Tan are seen in the combination photo. The two used to serve as deputy ministers of public security – PHOTO: VNA

HCMC – Two former deputy ministers of public security are expected to stand trial for their negligence in the purchase and sale of State-owned houses and land lots in the central coastal city of Danang and HCMC, as part of a broader probe into jailed property magnate Phan Van Anh Vu, 44, alias Vu Nhom.

Early this month, the Supreme People’s Court announced an indictment involving Vu and some high-ranking officials at the Ministry of Public Security (MPS). Today, the Hanoi People’s Court decided to put them on trial scheduled to last three days from January 28, reported the Vietnam News Agency.

According to the indictment, Bui Van Thanh, 60, former director of the General Department of Logistics and Engineering, and Tran Viet Tan, 64, former general director of the General Department of Intelligence, were charged with negligence leading to serious consequences, based on the 1999 Penal Code. They were also former deputy ministers of the MPS.

Meanwhile, Phan Huu Tuan, 64, former deputy general director of the General Department of Intelligence; and Tuan’s former subordinate Nguyen Huu Bach, 56, were charged with abusing power, in line with the 2015 Penal Code.

The indictment states that between 2009 and 2016, based on the proposals of Vu, Bach had suggested his superior Tuan sign documents for submission to MPS leaders, who then signed various proposals to facilitate Phan Van Anh Vu's wrongdoing.

These proposals suggested the governments of Danang and HCMC, as well as a number of agencies, create favorable conditions for Vu’s companies – Danang-based Bac Nam 79 Construction JSC and HCMC-based Nova Bac Nam 79 JSC.

During the period in question, his companies were able to acquire or use land and properties on such land sites of the State at concessional prices without going through the due process of bidding, and other preferential treatments.

The property included seven apartments, public plots of land and property projects whose housing and land area covered 6,700 square meters and 26,700 square meters in total, respectively, worth over VND2.5 trillion (roughly US$109 million).

Vu then claimed these properties for himself and his relatives and transferred some of them to the ownership of other people to earn illegal profits, leading to a loss of more than VND1.15 trillion (nearly US$50 million) for the State budget.

According to the indictment, Bach and Tuan made it possible for Vu to commit his crimes through six public housing and land projects, causing losses of over VND1.13 trillion (some US$49 million) in total.

Former senior leader Thanh was allegedly negligent in appraising housing and land prices at 129 Pasteur Street in District 3, HCMC. He was also accused of having allowed Vu to make illegal transfers, causing a loss of over VND222 billion (US$9.5 million).

Meanwhile, Tan was accused of negligence in managing and directing a division at the General Department of Intelligence. His misconduct helped Vu abuse his position and make use of official documents to acquire public houses and land in the two major cities. The loss Tan caused amounted to over VND155 billion (US$6.6 million).

Earlier, Thanh was dismissed from his post as deputy minister of the MPS, and Tan was stripped of his title as former deputy minister of the MPS in the 2011-2016 tenure.

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