|Sơn La police have arrested 15 people, mostly officials, for alleged breaches in paying land clearance compensation for the Sơn La hydropower plant, the largest dam in the country. — Photo dantri.com.vn|
SƠN LA — Sơn La police have arrested 15 people, mostly officials, for alleged breaches in paying land clearance compensation for the Sơn La hydropower plant, the largest dam in the country.
Two others have been placed under house arrest.
The Son La Party Committee’s Publicity and Education Commission held a press conference on Sunday afternoon to officially announce investigations against several local officials, including a department director and two department deputy directors.
Colonel Trần Thanh Sơn of the Sơn La police told the press that 12 people are accused of breaching economic regulations causing serious consequences. Another four will be investigated for lack of responsibility that has also led to serious consequences. The specific charges against the last one involved are yet to be determined and would be announced at a later time, Sơn said.
Sơn said suspected violations range from the land measurement process and mapping work to resettlement compensation for the Sơn La hydropower plant, causing losses to the State.
The plant is the biggest of its kind in the Southeast Asia, with the construction cost nearly VNĐ35 trillion (US$1.5 billion), approximately more or less of its projected expenditure plan.
However, the cost of resettling thousands of people forced to move for the dam shot up by more than VNĐ6.3 trillion ($280 million) over its planned expenditure.
The three most notable faces in this investigation are: Trương Tuấn Dũng, 57, deputy director of Sơn La finance department; Phan Tiến Diện, 42, deputy director of the natural resources and environment department; and his superior, 59-year-old Triệu Ngọc Hoan, director of the environment department.
Five other environment officials are involved, as are the director, deputy director municipal and another official of the land register office.
The police are also looking into the responsibilities of two deputy heads of the Mường La District resettlement management board, the Party Secretary of Chiềng Hoa Commune, Tòng Văn Thành, and Cà Văn Tỉnh, army chief in Tạ Bú Commune. — VNS