Ho Chi Minh City police suspend probe into boat accident that killed 9

By Phan Thuong, Thanh Nien News

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 A file photo of a sinking boat off Ho Chi Minh City's Can Gio District on August 2, 2013. Photo credit: VnExpress
Police in Ho Chi Minh City have suspended an investigation into a boat accident that killed nine people off the city coast in 2013, saying they are waiting for the results of the transport ministry's examination of the involved boat.
Accordingly, police have also halted their investigation for Vu Van Dao, and Dinh Van Quyet, who were both dismissed from their executive position at an involved shipbuilding company and boat service supplier after the accident.
It is unclear if Dao and Quyet, who were both arrested in October 2013, are going to be released, now that the investigation has been suspended.
In August 2013, Quyet, former director of Vung Tau Marina Joint-Stock Company, hired three high-speed boats from Dao, who was then director of Viet Czech Technology Joint-Stock Company, to transport 66 employees of a PetroVietnam company from the Mekong Delta province of Tien Giang to the southern beach town of Vung Tau.
When they were 10 kilometers off Ho Chi Minh City's Can Gio District, one of the boats capsized with 30 people aboard.
Police's latest move came after the city People's Court twice returned the case's indictment to the city's office of prosecutors who filed charges of "putting into use unsafe means of sea transport" against Dao, 47, and Quyet, 35.
The court said some details of the indictment were not clear, including the boat's quality and legality.
According to the indictment, Viet Czech Technology Joint-Stock Company produced the boat and was supposed to sell to Ba Ria - Vung Tau province's coast guards.
Before the accident, it was already checked and approved by a vehicle quality check department under the People's Navy, but under Vietnamese laws the vehicle must be checked by the national vehicle quality check agency Vietnam Register before being used, prosecutors said.
However, the court wanted to know on which laws prosecutors' accusations were based on, because the navy department is also certified for checking vehicles used for defense purposes.
Prosecutors said the accident happened because the boat was carrying more people than its designed capacity of 12 people, while there were big waves and winds.
They also said its pilot, who was among the victims, did not have a license, which the court said was in conflict with some documents attached in their indictment that showed the pilot was indeed licensed.

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