Former vice chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Nguyễn Thành Tài at the People's Court of HCM City on Sunday. He was sentenced to eight years in prison for violating regulations on management and use of State assets. VNA/VNS Photo Thành Chung
HÀ NỘI — Former vice chairman of the HCM City People’s Committee Nguyễn Thành Tài was sentenced to eight years in prison on Sunday for violating regulations on management and use of State assets, which resulted in a loss of VNĐ1.927 trillion (US$83 million) to the treasury.
The 68-year-old former official was found guilty of leasing out a public land lot at 8-12 Lê Duẩn Street in HCM City’s District 1 without competitive bidding, causing losses worth millions of dollars to the city.
Four others accused were also sentenced to prison on the same charge, including Lê Thị Thanh Thuý, president of Mayflower Investment Company Ltd and Lavenue Investment JSC (five years), Đào Anh Kiệt, former director of the HCM City Department of Natural Resources and Environment (five years), Nguyễn Hoài Nam, former secretary of the District 2 Party unit (four years), and Trương Văn Út, former deputy head of the department’s land management division (three years).
The 4,896sq.m land lot on Lê Duẩn Street is a State property that had long been earmarked for a five-star hotel and shopping mall. In 2007 the Government ordered its auctioning to pick an investor, not a joint venture, to carry out the project.
However, Tài gave approval for the HCM City Housing Management Company to set up a joint venture with four companies owned by the Ministry of Industry and Trade to develop the project.
While it was supposed to contribute 50 per cent of the capital and the four ministry companies the rest, the HCM City Housing Management Company claimed it did not have enough money and only contributed 20 per cent, while the remaining 30 per cent was brought in by the Mayflower Investment Company Ltd.
After that a company called Lavenue Investment JSC was established as a joint venture between all the companies to carry out the project, with the accused Thúy as its chairwoman.
The companies then transferred their shares among each other, turning the land lot into a private property.
Since the case was discovered and the lot returned to the State, the financial losses that the five accused were asked to compensate were reduced from VNĐ1.927 trillion ($83 million) to VNĐ4.7 billion ($202,400).
The city’s People’s Court also ordered the People's Committee to revoke all certificates of land use rights and related documents issued to Lavenue company. — VNS