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Former defense deputy minister indicted for negligence
By Thanh Thom
Wednesday,  Mar 18, 2020,15:32 (GMT+7)

Former defense deputy minister indicted for negligence

By Thanh Thom

Nguyen Van Hien, who served as Deputy Minister of National Defense between 2009 and 2016 – PHOTO: VTV

HCMC – Former Deputy Minister of National Defense Nguyen Van Hien has been indicted for gross negligence that caused the Naval Force to lose control of three plots of land in downtown HCMC.

The Central Military Procuracy has indicted the 66-year-old Hien based on Article 360 of the 2015 Penal Code, an offense punishable by a maximum of 12 years in prison. The ex-admiral served as deputy minister between 2009 and 2016.

Heads of the economic and financial divisions of the Naval Force Bui Nhu Thiem and Doan Manh Thao, respectively, together with former director of the Naval Force’s Hai Thanh Company Bui Van Nga and another individual Tran Trong Tuan were indicted for irregularities in land management.

According to the indictment, a total of more than 7,300 square meters of land at No.2, 7-9 and 9-11 Ton Duc Thang Street in central HCMC was once defense-purpose land under the Naval Force’s management.

During his tenure as the Commander of the Naval Force between 2004 and 2015, Hien was found negligent for approving proposals from Thiem, Thao and Nga, which converted these plots of defense-use land into land designated for economic purposes, in violation of land management regulations.

In signing various documents in 2006, the then-leader sought permission from the Ministry of National Defense and other relevant agencies to build office buildings for lease at these sites.

Having authorized the then-director of Hai Thanh Company to do so, Hien failed to inspect the work of the concerned stakeholders. Consequently, a partner mortgaged the pieces of land, changed the type of business and transferred the land to third parties.

The indictment found that the irregularities committed by Hien and other individuals resulted in the Naval Force losing the rights to the three sites for a period of 49 years. Losses to the State budget could amount to at least VND939 billion (US$40 million).

In this case, former colonel Dinh Ngoc He, alias Bald Ut, who was deputy general director of a corporation under the Defense Ministry; Pham Van Duyet, former deputy general director of Duc Binh Group; and Vu Thi Hoan, ex-director of Yen Khanh Co., Ltd, were accused of committing asset misappropriation.

Last September, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc stripped Hien of his status as former commander of the Naval Force for his serious mismanagement of the land. Earlier, the Politburo, the most important decision-making committee of the Communist Party, dismissed Hien from all Party positions.

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