Former Hanoi Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung is “punished” for wrongdoings in tree plantation, is his predecessor Nguyen The Thao under threat?

Nguyen Duc Chung was “hit by a tree”

Former Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee Nguyen Duc Chung has been investigated in many criminal cases. On March 22, the Investigation Police Agency of the Ministry of Public Security probed a fourth crime against him named “abusing positions and powers while performing official duties.” So far, the former President of Hanoi is serving a total of 12 years in prison with 3 cases: appropriating secret documents; wrongdoing in procurement of Redoxy-3C waste treatment chemical; bidding intervention at Hanoi Department of Planning and Investment.

Mr. To An Xo, a spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security, said that Chung had taken advantage of his position and power to violate state regulations to give orders to plant trees in Hanoi from 2016 to 2018. The individuals and organizations involved include Eco Green Company and Hanoi Greenery Company. Nguyen Tuan Nghia, Director of Hoa Lac Green Company Limited and Phat Phat Development for People Company Limited, was arrested.

Or simply put, Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung was involved in the price increase of trees planted in Hanoi.

Remember, in August 2016, the online community made waves about the Hanoi People’s Committee spending VND53 billion ($2.5 million) a year to mow 24 km of Thang Long Avenue. This is an absurd number, just looking at it to know if there is a price increase. However, at that time, no one probed Chairman Nguyen Duc Chung of the Hanoi People’s Committee.

Next, in September 2016, the Hanoi People’s Committee approved spending VND886 billion, just to mow the city’s lawn. This plan was then strongly opposed by the online community, so in the end, the city government approved spending VND187 billion, also doing the same job. That is, with just one lawn mowing project, this group of interests can steal VND700 billion from the city’s budget.

That is what Mr. Nguyen Duc Chung did when he held the position of Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee. Not only he but his predecessor Nguyen The Thao did to personalize the city’s money.

In 2015, Mr. Nguyen The Thao “slaughtered” trees

In March 2015, the Chairman of Hanoi Nguyen The Thao cut down 6,700 old trees on the streets of Hanoi city. This is a smelly project, because when implementing this project, Mr. Nguyen The Thao approved spending a huge amount of money on chopping down and destroying. In addition, chopped tree are old trees of great economic value. This is a big benefit for the looters.

After the clearing is complete, the project continued with tree replantation. At that time, the budget was used to buy seeds and plant trees. Just by issuing a destructive policy, interest groups hiding behind the Chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee were free to steal the city’s budget.

Nguyen Duc Chung was arrested while he was still in his post but Nguyen The Thao retired without being probed. It is unclear whether Nguyen Phu Trong will retroactively bring to light the actions of senior officials? In addition to the tree story, as Hanoi chairman Nguyen The Thao crushed the city planning. The road axis Le Van Luong-To Huu was broken because of Mr. Thao’s management.

In June 2022, the Inspector of the Ministry of Construction issued the inspection conclusion No. 39 on the inspection of the Hanoi Department of Planning and Architecture, the Hanoi Institute of Construction Planning, and a series of related project investors related to construction planning, planning adjustment, urban construction management on both sides of Le Van Luong-To Huu street, Nguyen Thanh Binh street, Trung Hoa – Nhan Chinh urban area in Hanoi. This is a conclusion that touches the interests of Nguyen The Thao, and so far, the Central Government has not been able to handle this violation. Will Mr. Nguyen Phu Trong let To Lam deal with wrongdoings of Nguyen The Thao or not? (Translated)