|Wood chopped down in Phong Quang special use forest. Police in northern Hà Giang Province started criminal proceedings against an official of the forest management board for abusing his power to appropriate assets. — VNA/VNS Photo|Viet Nam News
HÀ GIANG — On Thursday, police in northern Hà Giang Province started criminal proceedings against Nguyễn Quang Huy, deputy director of Phong Quang Special Use Forest Management Board under the provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, for abusing his power and position to appropriate assets.
The 40-year-old official was put into temporary detention for four months while further investigation was conducted into his use of money paid to local people for forest protection.
A warrant to search his house and office was also issued the same day.
According to regulations, authorities hand over special use forest land to local people for protection. Every month, the locals receive financial assistance for the work.
In 2016 and 2017, Huy, along with two officials of the management board and other officials of Phong Quang Commune’s People’s Committee, kept between 30 and 50 per cent of the financial assistance for themselves, according to the provincial investigative police agency.
In late January, the police launched criminal proceedings against Hoàng Văn Hậu and Lệnh Thanh Thượng, officials of the same forest management board, for similar charges.
The police are expanding their investigation.
Phong Quang special use forest covers an area of more than 8,000 ha and is located in Minh Tân, Phong Quang, Thuận Hòa and Thanh Thủy communes of Vị Xuyên District. It is home to a large area of iron wood, and is a centre of deforestation in the north. — VNS