National park land used as collateral for forest protection project funding
  • | TP, dtinews.vn | March 29, 2013 05:38 AM
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It has recently become public that the director of the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park used the park as collateral for a loan to develop a forest protection project.


Land use right certificates from Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park were used as collateral

Luu Minh Thanh, the park’s director, admitted that he has handed over 11 land use right certificates of the park, which has been recognised as a world natural heritage site, to the Hanoi-based Forestry Development Limited Company to seek funds for forest protection for over two years.

Thanh made that decision without any discussion or informing other leaders at the park.

Nguyen Xuan Quang, Vice Chairman of People’s Committee of Quang Binh Province, where the park is located, said he was also unaware of the incident.

According to Thanh, he had handed over 11 land use right certificates of the park with a combined area of 122,864 hectares to Tran Thi Truong from Quang Binh Province’s Dong Hoi City, who claimed to represent the company.

He said that Truong promised to help find funds for the park to realise forest protection’s project worth VND25 million (USD1,192) per hectare. He, however, didn't know what Truong had used the documents for.


A receipt proving the handover of the park’s documents

“To date, we’ve yet to get fund from the partner. They said it’s difficult to get source funds due to the economic downturn,” Thanh noted.

Tran Thi Truong admitted all the facts were accurate. She however emphasised that she only had relationships with local officials and foreign partners but didn't represent any company.

Truong said that the funds she promised to get for the park would come from the government as part of a national project to grow five million hectares of forests nationwide.

She clarified that the part would get VND20 million (USD954.2) per hectare instead of VND25 million Thanh had claimed as VND5 million (USD238.5) would be granted to those who were working to seek the funding.

“As I’m from Quang Binh, I’ve tried to help my hometown. I’ve refused a lot of proposals to find funding for projects at a district level but just agreed to help big projects. Apart from Phong Nha – Ke Bang, I’ve helped get funding for others parks like Bu Dang in Binh Duong Province and Ho Ke Go in Ha Tinh Province,” Truong confirmed.

She refused to name her domestic and foreign partners, claiming it was a sensitive issue, revealing that most of them were government officials.


Tran Thi Truong said she has various relationships with high-ranking officials

She added that the park would get the promised funding by the end of this month.

However, Ngo Tu Hoc from Hanoi municipal People’s Court said if a group uses land use right certificates as collateral for loans, it was necessary to get the agreement of all related people before making any decisions on such a use of the assets.

Dang added that those who are responsible for keeping common assets could face legal action in cases where the assets were lost.

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