Former town chairman arrested in land management scam in Vietnam

TN News

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Vietnamese police have detained the former administrative head of the northern mountainous resort town of Sa Pa for allegedly abusing his position to illegally grant land use and transfer rights.

Pham Tien Lap, 53, will be investigated under the charge of "abusing positions and/or powers while performing official duties" and "neglecting responsibility causing serious damage," police said.

The arrest was made on August 15, but was only made public almost half a month later.

At the time of his arrest, Lap was serving as deputy director of the Department of Natural Resources and Environment of Sa Pa District, which Sa Pa Town belongs to.

According to investigators, Lap illegally granted land use rights, allowed illegal changes of land use purposes, and issued illegal land use transfers while serving as Sa Pa Town chairman, causing "serious consequences that affected legal interests of the State and people."

They said Lap and some government employees in Sa Pa District were involved in hundreds of land management violations that affected hundreds of victims.

Details about the violations, as well as the damages to the victims, have yet to be revealed.

Police are investigating the case further.

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