PM demands investigation into Bac Ninh dredging scandal

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Báo Dân Trí English - 5 month(s) ago 10 readings

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered an investigation into who is sending threatening messages to the chairman of Bac Ninh Province after he tightened control over illegal sand extraction.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has ordered an investigation into who is sending threatening messages to the chairman of Bac Ninh Province after he tightened control over illegal sand extraction.

Bac Ninh chairman sent threatening messages after halting the project

According to the Government Office, the prime minister also asked Bac Ninh Province to continue suspending the dredging project in Cau River, which is supposed to expand the inland waterways of the province. The Ministry of Transport must report the results of the project by March 20.

The Ministry of Public Security was asked to investigate and find who sent the threatening messages and whether there were state officials protecting and covering up for illegal sand extraction activities.

Bac Ninh Provincial authorities have sent multiple documents to the Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to propose to halt the dredging project as dozens of ships gather on Cau River to extract sand under the auspices of the project.

According to Bac Ninh authorities, the project is causing erosion and damaging the dykes and embankments nearby. Not only it is causing billions in damage for the province, local people are also upset.

On March 2, the Vietnam Inland Waterways Administration issued a document to continue the project. However, vice chairman of Que Vo District Dang Van Tuan said they hadn't given permission for any dredging project. There are 60 ships with 300 to 500 tonnages currently on the river.

Bac Ninh chairman, leaders of many departments and their subordinates were sent threatening messages after halting the project.

On March 9, Bac Ninh Province's People Committee sent an official document, requesting the prime minister permission to halt the project, and carry out an internal investigation at all levels to find out who are backing the illegal sand exploiters.

Deputy Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat said on March 16 that they had stopped giving permission for dreading projects on maritime and inland waterway routes. They only given a permit to one project with approval from local authorities as dredging activities must have approval from local authorities. In addition, the companies need a licence from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment in order to dredge over 500 cubic metres of sand and soil.

"We have asked Vietnam Inland Waterways Administration to work with Bac Ninh Department of Transport and relevant agencies to inspect and report back to the ministry. We hope the police will investigate and find the culprit. We'll deliver strict punishment if ministry employees violate the laws," Nhat said.

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