Top row, left to right: Nguyễn Quốc Hải, Phan Khánh Toàn, Quản Trọng Tuấn. Second row, left to right: Vũ Như Khuê, Phan Ngọc Thơm. — Photo handout Ministry of Public Security
HÀ NỘI — Police on Tuesday arrested a former director and vice director of construction contractors involved in a key expressway in central Việt Nam after severe degradation was reported on the road merely a year following its opening.
Phan Khánh Toàn, former director of package No.4 and Phan Ngọc Thơm, former vice director of packages No.2 and 3B of the Đà Nẵng-Quảng Ngãi Expressway, were taken into custody for alleged breaches in construction causing serious consequences, according to the investigation police department of the Ministry of Public Affairs.
Another three former directors were charged with the same offence and were placed under house arrest.
They included Vũ Như Khuê of construction package No.1, Quản Trọng Tuấn of package No.3B and Nguyễn Quốc Hải of package No.6.
Preliminary investigations concluded that the five had shown signs of wrongdoing during the construction and acceptance process of the Đà Nẵng-Quảng Ngãi Expressway, causing losses to the State.
The 140km-long expressway was built in five years by the State-owned Việt Nam Expressway Corporation with a total investment of VNĐ34.5 trillion (US$1.4 billion). The first section running from Đà Nẵng City to Tam Kỳ City of Quảng Nam Province was opened to traffic in August 2017, and the last section from Tam Kỳ to Quảng Ngãi was in September 2018.
Large potholes were reported on the former after 14 months of operation. The size of the damaged road surface was 70 sq.m.
Some bridges on the expressway also showed signs of leaks.
Before Tuesday’s arrests, police had arrested four people in connection to the expressway.
They were Nguyễn Tiến Thành, former director of the expressway project management board; Hà Văn Bình, former director of construction package No.7; and Phạm Đình Phú and Nguyễn Thành An, former general director and vice general director of package No.5 executive board, respectively. — VNS