Vietnam's 'Successful Lady' involved in another controversy

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There is one thing that the winner of the "Successful Lady" title of the Mrs. Vietnam 2009 contest is really successful at - attracting controversy.


Truong Thi Tuyet Nga is now embroiled in a dispute relating to the joint venture between her company and a New Zealand partner.


The Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee last week has instructed the municipal Department of Planning and Investment to verify her accusations that ACG International Co. Ltd. (ACG) had committed "serious violations of Vietnamese law."


ACG is a joint venture between Vu Anh International Education Company, of which Nga is chairman general director, and New Zealand International College Ltd (NZIC). The joint venture opened a school with classes from primary to high school at a facility in District 2.


However, disputes broke out last year after ACG invested in another facility in District 9. NZIC claimed that Nga has to repay a loan of US$1.8 million and interest of $130,000 for the new facility. 


Nga refused to pay, saying the loan was to invest in the District 9 facility which is underway.


After NZIC filed a lawsuit in the HCMC People's Court, judge Le Hoang Tan signed a controversial decision on December 12 last year to temporarily ban Nga from going abroad while waiting for the trial.


However, the ban was lifted five days later when Nga submitted a complaint to the Court, saying it was unreasonable.


The Court has so far opened no trial proceedings in the case. Meanwhile, the scandal took another turn.


Recently, Nga submitted a complaint to the HCMC People's Committee, accusing ACG, of which NZIC owns 80 percent, of lending its facility to a third party, the Vietnam Australian International School.


In her letter, Nga requested the municipal authorities to prevent ACG from lending its facility because internal disputes of the joint venture were not resolved.


Nga, who is also chairwoman of the Vu Anh International Hospital in HCMC, won the "Successful Lady" title at the Mrs Vietnam 2009 contest held in the beach town of Vung Tau, when she was 48 years old.


The event was followed by a scandal after many people accused Nga of having undergone a plastic surgery, which is banned for such beauty contests. However, the organizers later made an official statement rejecting the accusations.


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