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|Four former officials of PVTex have been sentenced to a total of 58 years in prison|
After a four-day trial, on August 31, the Hanoi People’s Court announced the verdict for four defendants involved in wrongdoings at PetroVietnam Petrochemical and Textile Fiber JSC (PVTex).
Accordingly, Tran Trung Chi Hieu (55), former chairman of PVTex, has been sentenced to 13 years of imprisonment for the charges of “deliberately acting against state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences,” and 15 years for “taking bribes.” The defendant has been sentenced to a total of 28 years in prison.
The court gave 13 years of imprisonment to Do Van Hong (51), former chairman and general director of Kinh Bac Petroleum Construction and Investment JSC (PVC-KBC), 9 years to Dao Ngo Hoang (40), former head of the Trade Department of PVTex, and 8 years to Vu Phuong Nam (39), former chief accountant of PVTex, for the charge of “deliberately acting against state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences.”
In addition to the prison term, defendant Hong has to repay over VND19 billion ($840,000) to PVTex, while Hieu must return VND3 billion ($132,700) to the state budget.
The verdict found Tran Trung Chi Hieu and Vu Dinh Duy, who is currently on the run, guilty of picking a sub-contractor for a housing project for PVTex’s employees. The contractor was PVC-KBC, which was incapable, inexperienced, and not eligible for the project.
The court said that Hieu bore the main responsibility for all activities at PVTex. Hieu abused his position and powers to assign PVC-KBC and sign the contract of this bidding package. Additionally, he directed Hoang and Nam to advance VND20 billion ($0.88 million) to PVC-KBC. This amount was not spent on the project, causing a loss of VND19 billion ($0.84 million) to the state.
Additionally, Hieu was also found guilty of abusing his position and power and through former PVTex general director Vu Dinh Duy, forced Hong to pay a bribe of VND3 billion ($132,700). Hong said to give Duy a total of nearly VND9 billion ($398,000) in several payments. The court asked the investigation agencies to cooperate with the relevant authorities to arrest Duy.
Hoang and Nam were in charge of presenting proposals and making decisions on special issues assigned to them. They knew that advancing the VND20 billion ($0.88 million) to PVC-KBC was illegal, but still went along with it, leading to losses to the state, according to the verdict.
The total investment of the housing project for employees was estimated at VND320 billion ($14.16 million), including VND101 billion ($4.46 million) for the first phase and VND219 billion ($9.7 million) for the second one. Investment in the first phase was funded by PetroVietnam and PVTex. PetroVietnam Construction JSC (PVC), where Trinh Xuan Thanh was the chairman of the board of management, was assigned as the main contractor.
After securing permission from PetroVietnam, PVC transferred the project to PVC-KBC. In December 2010, on behalf of Tran Trung Chi Hieu, Vu Dinh Duy decided to elect PVC-KBC as the contractor. As a result, the project ground to a halt in 2012, and the Haiphong City People’s Committee retrieved the 5ha land area subsequently.