|Ba Lai River in the southern province of Bến Tre. — VNA/VNS Photo Trần Thị Thu Hiền|
BẾN TRE — Investigative police of the southern province of Bến Tre on Wednesday initiated legal proceedings against the former director of the provincial agricultural department.
Lê Phong Hải, former director of the Bến Tre Department of Agricultural and Rural Development, was charged with intentionally violating the State’s regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences, based on the Penal Code.
He was also ordered not to leave his residence during the process.
According to police’s investigation results, Hải was suspected of not fulfilling his responsibility and violating State regulations on economic management in a project to dredge Ba Lại River during the 2008-12 period, resulting in losses of VNĐ6.8 billion (US$304,000).
At that time, former director Hải represented the agricultural department as the investor of the project, which had total investment capital of over VNĐ303 billion ($13.4 million) using Government bonds.
Investigations showed that Hải selected an incapable sub-contractor for the project, and permitted an advance payment of 50 per cent of the contract value even though no areas were allocated for construction of a dredging system. His decisions resulted in losses of VNĐ6.8 billion for the State budget.
In addition, he did not ask the contractor of the project to renew the certificates of advance payment guarantee when these certificates expired, leading to the contractor appropriating all the advance payment. — VNS