Real estate tycoon and Ho Chi Minh City officials arrested

15:54 | 30/01/2019
Business woman Duong Thi Bach Diep and four officials of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee have just been started legal proceedings against for their alleged involvement in dubious real estate projects in the city and hoarding a great debt towards Agribank. 
real estate tycoon and ho chi minh city officials arrested
The Owner of Diep Bach Duong Real Estate, Duong Thi Bach Diep

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Public Security, business woman Duong Thi Bach Diep, director of Diep Bach Duong Real Estate Co., Ltd., was prosecuted for "fraudulent appropriation of property."

In addition, former deputy chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee Nguyen Thanh Tai and three other officials were also prosecuted for "offences against regulations on the management and use of State-owned property that lead to losses or wastefulness."

Duong Thi Bach Diep became known in the real estate sector by receiving many "golden" land plots in the centre of Ho Chi Minh City. In particular, she became the first person to own the super-luxury Rolls Royce Phantom in Vietnam, with the unique license plate of 77L-7777.

Over the last ten years, Diep was rarely mentioned. Due to her age, she has been gradually withdrawing from real estate projects, which were originally public land. Authorities now begin to look into claims that some of these dealings were not in accordance with the law.

As part of the investigation, the authorities are looking into the exchange of public land related to the Ho Chi Minh City Music Centre (under the management of the Ho Chi Minh City Department of Culture and Sports), which Diep allegedly obtained through illegal means, causing serious losses to the state coffers. Some of the other defendants were proved to have drawn personal benefit from this transaction.

Duong Thi Bach Diep (1948) was born in Binh Dinh, grew up in Haiphong, and moved to the southern provinces to start her career and then became a real estate tycoon. Diep used to be the legal representative of four real estate companies, but only two of them are still in operation, including Diep Bach Duong Real Estate Company Limited (Hai Ba Trung, ward 6, District 3) and Nam Nam Phuong Company Limited (Le Van Huu Street, Ben Nghe ward, District 1).

Duong Thi Bach Diep was famous in the real estate sector for owning a lot of "golden" land plots, such as 31 Le Duan Street, a 3,100sq.m conference centre and hotel project on 179Bis Hai Ba Trung Street, District 3, and the five-star Senla

Boutique Hotel, among others. Some of them have been seized.

Additionally, the companies of this business woman also owe around 67,000 taels of gold to Agribank which they are unable to repay.

By Nguyen Huong

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