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Dinh La Thang and 19 accomplices stand trial

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HCMC – The HCMC People’s Court this morning, December 14, opened the first-instance court hearing against former Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang and 19 accomplices over violations in the HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway project that caused a loss of VND725 billion for the State.

The HCMC-Trung Luong Expressway project received VND9.8 trillion from the State budget and was put into operation in February 2012. Cuu Long Corporation was in charge of operating the project. According to the indictment, the expressway is a State-invested project so money from selling the toll collection right belongs to the State.

The prime minister assigned the Ministry of Transport to monitor the bidding on the project’s toll collection.

In late 2013, Thang enabled Dinh Ngoc He’s Yen Khanh Company to win the bidding for the expressway toll collection although he knew the company was operating at a loss. Dinh Ngoc He was introduced to Thang by Duong Tuan Minh, the then general director of Cuu Long Corporation.

Dinh Ngoc He used falsified documents, which turned Yen Khanh from a loss-making to a profit-making company, for the bidding. After winning the bidding, he illegally interfered with the Transport Ministry’s management software to artificially lower toll revenues.

Being aware of the relationship between Thang and He, the then Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Hong Truong and other accomplices violated regulations on the management and use of State assets, causing wastefulness and losses. Thang bears the most responsibility in the case.

The trial runs until December 25.

Thang was earlier sentenced to 30 years in jail in 2018 on charges of intentionally violating State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences when he was chairman of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group.

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