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Ethnic minorities a target for fraud

Update: November, 26/2018 - 17:00
Ethnic minority residents meet with a local government official to report the fraud. — VNA/VNS Photo Hồng Điệp
Viet Nam News

GIA LAI — Many cases of fraudulent transfer of land use rights certificates, bribery and property misappropriation, in which the victims are mainly ethnic minorities, have occurred in the Tây Nguyên (Central Highlands) province of Gia Lai since the beginning of 2018, said Police Lieutenant Colonel Phạm Chính Nghĩa, head of the Criminal, Economic and Drug Crimes Police.

In recent days, dozens of ethnic minority residents of Ia Bă and Ia Yok communes in Ia Grai District have been left high and dry after borrowing money from a man who has subsequently disappeared.

Nguyễn Tất Bình, from Pleiku City in Gia Lai Province, is alleged to have misappropriated more than VNĐ1 billion (US$43,000) and 10ha of agricultural land from ethnic minority people.

Ksor Do, from Dun De Hamlet in Ia Bă Commune, said: “Last year, my family needed a bank loan to conduct house repairs. Bình asked me to transfer my land use certificate to him. He explained that if the certificate was in the name of a Kinh person, it would be easier to get the loan from the bank.”

“I believed him and agreed to transfer the land ownership to his daughter,” said Ksor Do.

Bình deposited the certificate at the bank and handed Ksor Do VNĐ50 million (US$2,200). He promised to re-transfer the land ownership to Ksor Do when the loan was repaid.

Earlier this year, Bình persuaded Ksor Do to transfer more land for an extra VNĐ150 million. However, Bình took the money for himself.

“He did all the bank procedures and I just signed the papers without reading them,” said Ksor Do.

Bình deceived many other ethnic people in the district with similar methods, said the police.

None of the victims signed lending contracts with Bình.

At present, the transfer of land ownership certificates is performed in notary offices so ethnic people were taken to Pleiku City to conduct the transfers, said a district land management official.

“If the procedures were done in the district, the ethnic people could have been warned about the fraud,” he said.

Lt. Col. Nghĩa suggested that the local government should develop policies to help ethnic minority people easily access State loans.

Currently, there are dozens of commercial banks in Gia Lai Province but most ethnic people could not access loans. — VNS

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