Company fined for mistreating historic site in central Vietnam

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Authorities in the central province of Khanh Hoa have fined a tourism company VND125 million (US$5,900) for illegally modifying a historic site and violating environmental regulations while building a resort.

A report on Tuoi Tre news website Saturday said Yasaka Saigon Nha Trang Joint-stock Company was caught building works at the historic work site of Dr. Alexandre Yersin (1863-1943) without asking authorities' permission. The works came as part of construction at a resort project in the Hon Ba Nature Reserve.

The company was also found ignoring regulations on construction and environmental protection, the report said.

Meanwhile, Hung Thinh Phat Company, which was contracted for the project, logged trees illegally during the construction.

A Swiss and French physician and bacteriologist Yersin established a biology lab, along with a hydrometeorology observation base, and a planting farm at Hon Ba in 1914.

Incomplete statistics showed that Hon Ba, some 57 kilometers from the resort town of Nha Trang, hosted some 592 species of plants and 59 rare animal species, including the endangered back-shanked douc, Tuoi Tre reported.

In other related news, the Ministry of Public Security's environmental crimes department has fined four companies that run large hotels and resorts in Khanh Hoa VND75 million ($3,500) each because wastewater discharged at their tourism sites failed environmental tests, the news website said.

Yasaka Saigon Nha Trang Company, which runs the four-star of the same name in Nha Trang Town, was among the violators.

The others were Dong Hai Tourism Real Estate Company (Sheraton Hotel), Nha Trang Tourism and Entertainment (Diamond Bay Resort), and Hong Hai Tourism (Resort Six Sense Hideaway, and Ninh Van Bay).

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