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Police detain Party secretary of Lam Dong Province over wrongdoing

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – Investigators of the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) have detained Tran Duc Quan, the incumbent secretary of the Party Committee of Lam Dong Province, over alleged wrongdoing in connection with a huge ecological resort and commercial urban area development project.

Lieutenant General To An Xo, spokesperson for the MPS, announced today, January 24, that the ministry’s investigative agency had issued a decision to indict and detain the Party secretary of Lam Dong over irregularities in the 3,600-hectare Dai Ninh Urban Area project.

Quan was charged with “abusing power and position while performing official duties” as specified in the 2015 Penal Code.

Following the approval of the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the investigative agency arrested Quan and searched his residence for evidence.

Regarding this case, the investigative agency issued a decision on January 2 to indict and execute an arrest warrant for Tran Van Hiep, chairman of the People’s Committee of Lam Dong Province, who is being investigated for bribery.

Earlier, investigators had arrested Nguyen Ngoc Anh, chief inspector of Lam Dong Province, to investigate allegations of bribery.

Tran Bich Ngoc, head of the Inspection and Settlement of Complaints and Denunciations, Prevention and Control of Corruption, Smuggling, Trade Fraud and Counterfeit Goods Department (Department I) of the Government Office, is also under investigation for abuse of power and authority while performing official duties.

The Dai Ninh Urban Area project got an investment certificate from the People’s Committee of Lam Dong Province on December 30, 2010. The project needed over 3,595 hectares in four communes of Duc Trong District — Phu Hoi, Ninh Gia, Ta Hine and Ninh Loan, including 1,050 hectares of leased forest land, and required VND25,243 billion. It was orginally scheduled to be carried out from 2010 to 2018 but a few small items were completed.

The Government Inspectorate ordered Lam Dong to terminate the project and reclaim the land. However, on July 8, 2021, the Government Inspectorate revised its conclusion, withdrawing the requirement to terminate the project. Instead, it requested Lam Dong to instruct the company to revise the project in accordance with the law, and carry out the project according to the approved scale.

Before the revision, the Government Inspectorate had set up a task force to review the case. In October 2021, the Planning and Investment Department of Lam Dong reviewed and decided to let the project continue as per the Government Inspectorate’s conclusion.

In a statement sent to the provincial authorities, the Saigon-Dai Ninh Company, the project developer, said that it had invested a total of VND2,000 billion in the project, and proposed increasing its investment capital for the Dai Ninh project to over VND30,200 billion.

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