Le Thanh Than, chairman of property giant Muong Thanh, is being prosecuted for false advertising and selling illegally constructed apartments in Hanoi’s Ha Dong District.
Than, who is released on bail, could face up to 5 years in prison and be fined from VND100 million to 500 million ($4,200 to 21,000), according to Hanoi People’s Procuracy.
Muong Thanh Group chairman Le Thanh Than. Photo by Forbes Vietnam
The prosecutors are also prosecuting Nguyen Duy Uyen, former chairman of the People’s Committee of Kien Hung Ward, Ha Dong District; Vuong Dang Quan, former deputy construction inspector chief of Ha Dong District; Mai Quang Bai, an officer of the construction management team of Ha Dong District; along with Bui Van Bang, Do Van Hung, and Nguyen Van Nam for lack of responsibility and causing grave consequences. They can face 3-12 years in prison.
Than was prosecuted as the chairman of Bemes Manufacturing, Export and Import Corp., owned by Muong Thanh Group.
In 1995, the People’s Committee of Ha Tay Province (now part of Hanoi) leased 15,000 square meters of land to Bemes for 15 years in Kien Hung Commune in Ha Dong District to build a construction material factory.
In 2008, Bemes was approved by Ha Tay People’s Committee to go through with the CT6 Kien Hung project to build apartments, a hotel and 15 houses.
Muong Thanh’s CT6 Kien Hung projects in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Du
According to the investigation, the buildings increased from 31 to 32 floors and removed a basement. One building was changed from a hotel to an apartment building, turning 495 hotel rooms into 1,582 apartments. Than also directed the construction of another building with 438 apartments, not included in the approved plan.
In May 2011, he was accused of directing others to advertise and give false information about the legality of a project to sell apartments.
Customers trusted him and signed contracts to purchase the apartments with Bemes, according to authorities.
The prices of apartments in the project were decided by Than. As chairman, he directly signed the contracts with customers, gaining their trust, so they would pay upfront.
The total number of apartments in the project was 1,620, of which only 934 apartments were issued with the red book, a certificate pertaining to property ownership in Vietnam, according to the investigation.
Than is claimed to have illegally earned over VND534 billion, causing more than VND56 billion of damage to customers who bought apartments without the ownership certificates.
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