HCMC authorities are set to repossess and auction a 5,000-square-meter plot of prime land that had been sold illegally by local officials.
After the Government Inspectorate uncovered the fraud, city authorities said they would take disciplinary action against all individuals and organizations, including retired officials, for illegally selling the land at 8-12 Le Duan Street, District 1, at “cheap prices”.
Head of the People’s Committee Office, Vo Van Hoan, the city Department of Natural Resources and Environment has been assigned to repossess the land and action it.
In 2007 the land had been managed by the Ho Chi Minh City House Trade Management Company, which leased it to four joint stock companies, majority-owned by the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Later, instead of organizing an auction to sell the land, city authorities allowed Lavenue Investment Corp. to develop a mixed-use project comprising luxury residences, boutique retail outlets and a five-star hotel on the land.
Lavenue Investment Corp.’s shareholders are the Ho Chi Minh City House Trade Management Company, which owns 50 percent, and the four companies, each with a 12.5 percent stake.
But soon the four companies sold their rights to develop the project to a private company and made a windfall profit.
No construction has been made on the project site to date.
The Government Inspectorate asked the city authorities to repossess the land and take disciplinary action for the violations committed by various departments, agencies and individuals including former People’s Committee Vice C hairman Nguyen Thanh Tai.
A sum of VND200 billion ($8.62 million) that the four companies received for the sale must also be appropriated, the inspectors said.
The two-kilometer-long Le Duan Street, which runs perpendicular to Thong Nhat (Reunification) Palace, has mainly government offices, schools and a church, and is one of the most prime locations in the downtown area.