The highest prosecutors’ office has arrested a senior official for auctioning a private resort in Hoi An after its owner refused to continue bribing him.
Pham Van Tuan, 52, head of Hoi An Municipal Civil Verdict Enforcement Agency was accused of taking tens of millions of dong in bribes from Nguyen Lam Huy.
Huy currently serves as the director of Tan Dong An Company, which owns the River Beach Resort.
He decided to auction the resort on July 8, after his demand for VND1 billion (US$47,000) in April was rejected.
Huy reportedly bribed Tuan because he wanted to delay a 2012 verdict that ordered him to pay back a VND67 billion 2009 loan from the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam.
According to the verdict, Huy had to pay the bank more than VND96 billion, including interest, due to a loan he secured by mortgaging his resort.
Preliminary investigation found that after the verdict was issued in 2012, Huy met Tuan at his home several times to ask him to propose a delay and interest reduction with the bank.
Tuan ordered Huy to pay tens of millions of dong per month to get him to defer enforcing the verdict. He also said that he was the only one who had the right to decide whether to auction the resort.
Huy agreed to pay the bribes because he wanted to continue operating the resort to generate enough money to cover his debt.
In April, Tuan demanded VND1 billion but Huy refused.
After Tuan held an auction and sold the resort on July 8, Huy filed a lawsuit against him.
The auction attracted complaints from shareholders who said it violated a recent deferral negotiated with BIDV.