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Former VEC execs arrested over low-quality expressway

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Mai Tuan Anh, former chairman and general director of the Vietnam Expressway Corporation (VEC), has been detained on alleged charges of violating the construction law following the second phase of an investigation into the low quality of the Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway project.

Investigators at the Ministry of Public Security on March 15 said they had filed penal charges against Anh and six other people for their alleged involvement in irregularities in the expressway project in central Vietnam.

The six accused comprise Tran Van Tam, former VEC general director and former chairman of the appraisal council of the expressway project; Nguyen Manh Hung and Le Quang Hao, former deputy general directors at VEC; Nguyen Tien Thanh, former director of the project’s management board; Do Ngoc An, former deputy director of the management board; and Ha Van Binh, former deputy director of the bidding management division.

They showed no sense of responsibility and failed to follow procedures, standards and design requirements, while overseeing the inspection of the project, resulting in poor quality work, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

In the first phase of the investigation in early December last year, the Hanoi People’s Court imposed a seven-year jail sentence on Nguyen Manh Hung and a six-year jail sentence on Le Quang Hao, while 34 others involved in the case received two years of probation or prison sentences of up to eight years and six months.

The Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway project, whose investor is VEC, has a total length of nearly 140 kilometers. In the first phase, a 65-kilometer section from Danang City to Tam Ky City of Quang Nam Province comprises eight construction and installation packages.

On August 1, 2017, the first phase of the project was put into service. The remaining 74.2-kilometer section connecting Tam Ky City and Quang Ngai City was opened to traffic in September 2018.

However, a few weeks after its operation, many sections of the expressway were riddled with potholes, so the Ministry of Public Security launched an investigation.

The investigation results showed that the deterioration of the first phase of the Danang-Quang Ngai Expressway project caused a loss of VND811 billion, the local media reported.

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