Two held for loss of 1,000 ha of forest in central Vietnam

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Police in the Central Highlands province of Dak Nong Saturday arrested the head of a forestry company and his deputy for the loss of more than 1,000 hectares of forest leased to the firm.

Than Van Minh, 69, director of Quang Tin Forestry Company, and his deputy Than Van Hoa, 38, would be investigated for "irresponsibility leading to serious consequences."

More than a quarter of the 1,000 ha was cleared for a joint project with a company based in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province.

Quang Tin was assigned to protect and develop thousands of hectares of forest.

Investigations found the two had "loosely" managed the forests.

The charge carries a penalty of up to 15 years' imprisonment, depending on the value of the loss.

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Earlier this week police in nearby Gia Lai Province detained chief manager of the Ayunpa protected forest for letting nearly 5,500 ha of forest be destroyed in the last seven years.

Investigators said 4,000 ha had been lost due to unknown causes, while the rest disappeared after he illegally allocated them to local residents to manage.

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