HCMC official arrested for mortgaging public money for bank loan

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The Ho Chi Minh City police Wednesday arrested a former official for allegedly putting up public funds as security for a bank loan for a private company.


Le Quoc Cuong, 53, former chief of a committee in charge of paying land-related compensation in District 1, will be held for four months on charges of "abuse of power."


According to the police, in July 2010 Cuong used the committee's VND10.7 billion (US$512,000) deposit at Agribank -- money meant to be paid to people whose lands had been acquired for infrastructure works in District 1 -- for a VND10.5 billion loan for Cuong Nguyen Limited Company based in District 2.


When the company failed to repay the loan on the due date, the bank appropriated the security.


It was only early this year that Cuong's deed was discovered.


Cuong became head of the committee in 2006.

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