|Lê Quang Hào, Deputy Director-General of Việt Nam Expressway Corporation.|
HÀ NỘI — Police on Monday said they have arrested and launched an investigation against a senior leader of the State-owned Việt Nam Expressway Corporation (VEC) for violations in handling a key project in central Việt Nam.
Lê Quang Hào, Deputy Director-General of VEC, was also the head of the committee in charge of conducting quality inspection of Quảng Nam-Đà Nẵng expressway, which was put into operation in September 2018. Reports quickly emerged regarding the road's questionable construction quality, with potholes and cracks developing shortly after its opening that required urgent maintenance.
Hào was charged with “violating construction regulations, leading to serious consequences” under the Việt Nam Penal Code 2015.
According to the Investigation Police Agency, Hào’s wrongdoing involves faulty pre-acceptance testing of the construction project of the expressway (specifically, the 65km Tuý Loan-Tam Kỳ section) that is not in line with regulations and provisions of the law, not in compliance with the approved standards, technical instructions, and the project design requirements, resulting in unqualified works being put into use, causing very serious consequences.
The police are expanding the investigation and consolidating the case to clarify the role of each of the suspects involved in the case.
Previously, Vietnamese police detained and investigated eight people, including the former director of the Đà Nẵng-Quảng Ngãi project management unit and other senior executives of sub-project management units.
The expressway has a total length of over 139.2km, running through Đà Nẵng City, Quảng Nam and Quảng Ngãi provinces, which constitutes a major part of the central key economic region of the country.
With construction beginning in 2013, the expressway's total costs came to upwards of VNĐ34.5 trillion (US$1.64 billion), including $798.5 million in loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and over $590 million from the World Bank (WB), with the remainder sourced from the Vietnamese Government's budget. — VNS