23:21 (GMT +7) - Tuesday 22/10/2019

Vietnam Today

Senior Communist Party official faces punishment

Released at: 17:28, 28/04/2017

Senior Communist Party official faces punishment

Mr. Dinh La Thang. Photo: zing.vn

Politburo member and HCMC Party Chief Dinh La Thang accused of various wrongdoings while at the helm of PetroVietnam.

by Duy Anh

A high-ranking Communist Party of Vietnam official faces punishment for wrongdoings when he led the country’s oil and gas monopoly, PetroVietnam.

The Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission has recommended disciplinary action be taken against Mr. Dinh La Thang, Politburo member and Party Chief in Ho Chi Minh City.

Inspectors hold Mr. Thang primarily responsible for mismanagement at PetroVietnam, where he served as Chairman of the Board from 2009 to 2011. His political career then took off as he joined Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s cabinet as Minister of Transport.

The recent inspection only focused on business violations at PetroVietnam between 2009 and 2015. Party inspectors found Mr. Thang was responsible for illegal business decisions, including violations involving an investment in local lender Ocean Bank, and “big bidding packages”, according to a post on the government’s website.

The Inspection Commission said in a statement that Mr. Thang was responsible for permitting an investment in Ocean Bank that exceeded regulations, causing “very serious losses to PetroVietnam”. The oil and gas giant bought 20 per cent of Ocean Bank for VND800 billion ($35 million) in 2008. The State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) then acquired the debt-ridden bank for VND0 two years ago, resulting in PetroVietnam losing its investment.

The post also noted that Mr. Thang was responsible for “advising the Prime Minister to designate many bidding packages that failed to meet legal regulations.”

In particular, he was responsible for violations of the Law on Bidding related to the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract for the Dung Quat Biofuel Plant as well as low investment efficiency at a number of projects, including the Dinh Vu Polyester manufacturing plant and bio-energy projects.

Mr. Thang has been a member of the Politburo, the 19-member decision-making body of the Communist Party of Vietnam, since early last year. He also became Ho Chi Minh City’s Party Chief last year.

The Inspection Commission proposed that the Politburo and Party Central Committee consider disciplinary measures against Mr. Thang. Such measures include reprimands, warnings, dismissals, and the stripping of Party membership. The Central Committee is expected to hold its plenary meeting in May.

Appointed Minister of Transport at the age of 51, Mr. Thang was considered young enough in Vietnam’s political apparatus to be groomed for higher places.

In a country where people yearn for charismatic but stern leadership, Mr. Thang was catapulted into political stardom thanks to his verbose rhetoric and sometimes tough action.

Since moving to Ho Chi Minh City, he has grabbed headlines with populist statements that promise to address hot-button issues such as corruption, crime, traffic jams, and education.

Mr. Thang is not the only one facing tough action: four other PetroVietnam bigwigs have already been punished for their wrongdoings.

The Inspection Commission decided to remove Mr. Phung Dinh Thuc from the position of Secretary of the PetroVietnam Party Committee in the 2010-2015 tenure over his accountability in violations of the PetroVietnam Party Committee’s Standing Board in 2011-2014. Mr. Thuc, who is a former Vice Secretary of the Party Committee and member of the Board of Directors and General Director of PetroVietnam in 2008-2010, and was then Secretary of its Party Committee and Chairman of the Member Council from September 2011-July 2014, was identified as responsible for the issuance of Resolutions No.233/NQ-DU and No.4266/NQ-DKVN. He also violated organization and personnel regulations, giving wrong assessments of Mr. Trinh Xuan Thanh on his transfer to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and did not take into account violations by Mr. Nguyen Xuan Son when he worked as Director General of OceanBank. Mr. Thuc was in charge of violations in the Dinh Vu Polyester manufacturing plant and bio-energy projects.

Mr. Do Van Hau, former Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee, member of the Member Council and General Director of PetroVietnam from November 2011-October 2014, was dismissed from his position as Deputy Secretary of the PetroVietnam Party Committee in the 2010-2015 period, as he was found to have links with the issuance of Resolutions No.233/NQ-DU and No.4266/NQ-DKVN.

He irresponsibly provided wrong assessments of Mr. Trinh Xuan Thanh and Mr. Vu Dinh Duy on their transfer to the Ministry of Industry and Trade, and was responsible for accrediting Mr. Nguyen Xuan Son and for violations at the Dinh Vu Polyester manufacturing plant and bio-energy projects.

Meanwhile, the Commission decided to expel Mr. Nguyen Xuan Son, former Secretary of the PetroVietnam Party Committee and Chairman of the Member Council, from the Party, for being responsible for the PetroVietnam Party Committee’s Standing Board’s violations in the 2010-2015 period as well as the issuance of the two abovementioned resolutions.

He was found to have abused his position and authority and intentionally acted against State regulations on economic management, causing severe losses, when he represented PetroVietnam at OceanBank. He has been apprehended.

The Commission issued a warning to Mr. Nguyen Quoc Khanh, former Secretary of the Party Committee, Chairman of the Member Council, member of the Party Committee’s Standing Board, and Deputy Director General of PetroVietnam, for violations by its Party Committee’s Standing Board in 2010-2015 and the issuance of the two resolutions.

He was also involved in legal violations in assigning EPC contracts for the Long Phu 1 and Thai Binh 2 thermal power plants, the Dinh Vu Polyester manufacturing plant, and bio-energy projects.

User comment (0)

Send comment