Project manager accused of graft

Project manager accused of graft
Published: 01 August 2005

An official in charge of managing the construction of a US$208m cement plant in Vietnam’s northern port city of Hai Phong stands accused of taking bribes to unveil details of bids on the project. Ho The Khien, director of the Administration Board for the Hai Phong Cement Plant, is the target of accusations by Le Van Toan, former deputy director of a local construction firm, for taking over VND1 billion (over US$63,000) from him to reveal bid details. The country’s largest state-run cement producer, the Vietnam Cement Corporation, or VCC invested in the project.

Toan told police he had bribed Mr Khien 21 times to get the details of the bid to build a residential block worth VND21.6 billion ($1.36 million). He said things fell to pieces when the chairman of his company, An Thai Construction & Investment, who was Mr. Khien’s wife, tried to kick him out of the firm, leading to the denouncement.

Earlier on July 27, Mr. Khien told the VCC and police that details of the bids of the project were transferred to a large number of concerned agencies, and the administration did not unveil any of them. He said so far, An Thai, run by his wife, had not been involved to any of the works of the Hai Phong Cement Plant.He said perhaps Mr. Toan accused him because he wanted revenge after being sacked by his wife. But the chairman of the administration failed to explain why details of the bid of the construction of the residential block were already unveiled.