Quang Ninh Province prosecutors have charged 39 people, including senior officials at the Mao Khe Coal Mining Company, for allowing illegal miners to exploit more than 28,000 tons of coal in February last year.
Deputy Chief Security Pham Duy Nghia, Company Director Nguyen Viet Ngu as well as his deputies, Tran Van Thien, Uong Hong Hai, Nguyen Van Tuan, and Pham Van Khoi, were all charged with "being irresponsible causing serious consequences."
Le Khac Hung, chief security official, was charged with the similar crime for "receiving a bribe." Twenty-four others were charged with "violating regulations in mineral survey and mining" and another eight were charged with "buying illegal property."
According to the indictment, illegal miners have sent nearly 30 dredgers and several trucks to mine around the clock at a mine managed by Mao Khe Coal Mining Company between February 13-17 last year, which fell on the Tet holiday.
Investigators said a total of 28,189 tons of coals have been illegally exploited from 13 places at the mine, estimated to be worth VND16.7 billion (US$806,000).
Following the incident, Ngu had confirmed that it was purely a robbery by illegal miners and the company guards couldn't stop them due to limited personnel.
However, prosecutors said the company leaders were well aware of the incident but ignored the case. Four deputy directors were even absent at their shifts. Some trucks of illegal miners were also carrying coal very close to the company's guarding stations.
Ngu ignored reports on the case by his deputies and stayed at home during Tet holidays, prosecutors said.
He even instructed his subordinates to falsify documents about their shifts when reporting to investigators, they said.
Investigators also found that Hung had received VND110 million ($5,309) from the illegal miners.
According to the indictment, Quang Ninh investigators are looking into allegations that some local government officials were involved in the case.