Wednesday , May 29 2024

Province chairman arrested for allowing illegal sand mining

The chairman of An Giang Province has been arrested for a major sand-mining scandal that occurred on his watch and faces the charge of “abuse of power in performance of official duties.”

Nguyen Thanh Binh, chairman of An Giang Peoples Committee. Photo by  An Giang Peoples Committee

Nguyen Thanh Binh, chairman of An Giang People’s Committee. Photo by An Giang People’s Committee

The Ministry of Public Security said Nguyen Thanh Binh had used his authority to grant a license to Trung Hau 68 JSC to illegally mine sand in My Hiep and Binh Phuoc Xuan communes in Cho Moi District.

Binh, 59, has been the chairman of the An Giang People’s Committee since 2019.

Tran Anh Thu, deputy chairman of the province, has already been arrested for taking a bribe of VND1.2 billion ($50,000) to allow the company to exploit sand beyond its licensed capacity.

Nguyen Viet Tri, director of the province Department of Natural Resources and Environment, was also accused of taking bribes.

Seven other sacked officials from the department and the province’s Monitoring Center also face charges of abusing their power for gain in the sand mining case.

Le Quang Binh, chairman and general director of Trung Hau 68, was investigated for “violating rules in exploring and exploiting natural resources” and “paying bribes.”

According to the police, the company was licensed to mine 1.5 million cubic meters of sand to supply for the construction of four sections of the North-South Expressway.

Authorities said Binh oversaw the mining of more than 4.7 million cubic meters of sand valued at VND253 billion on the market.

The company kept the illegally mined sand off its books.

To sell the illegally mined sand, Binh and his accomplices established intermediary companies to acquire false invoices, and shared the ill-gotten gains with a number of officials.

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