Vietnam officials in hot water after selling public land to relatives

TN News

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Police in the north-central province of Ha Tinh have arrested a commune-level official who along with his boss and another colleague allegedly illegally sold more than 6,000 hectares of public lands to their relatives.

Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper quoted them as saying they are looking for his boss, Cao Viet Duc, 42, chairman of Xuan Vien Commune in Nghi Xuan District.

They arrested Tran Xuan Ngan, 61, who was in charge of land issues at the people's committee before he was dismissed along with Duc, at the committee office Tuesday.

Duc was not home when the police went there, and his wife told them he had gone to Hanoi for a "health check."

The pair will be held for three months and charged with "abuse of power."

According to investigators, between October 2012 and February this year, the pair connived with Phan Thi Sau, 58, chief accountant of the People's Committee, to sell 83 land plots to their relatives.

The police searched Sau's house Tuesday but did not arrest her.

On May 4 Duc and Ngan were dismissed.

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