Published: 21/04/2011 05:00



700 villas in Hanoi left unfinished

The Ministry of Construction and the Hanoi Department of
Construction on Wednesday released a joint report that found nearly 700 villas
in unfinished conditions around the city.

These are part of a total 2.700 villas of 16 construction
projects approved by the city.

The construction authorities suspect owners of these
unfinished villas were real estate speculators.

After the report was released, the Hanoi People’s Committee
ordered the owners to timely complete the construction of their villas to
protect the city’s urban landscape.

Low quality medicines
removed from shelves

The Ministry of Health ordered the removal of Seachfol-Z or
Pantoprazole tablets from shelves in pharmacies across the country on April

The drugs were withdrawn from the market as they failed to
meet the required medical quality standards.

Seachfol-Z or Pantoprazole tablets are used for short-term
treatment of erosion and ulceration of the esophagus caused by
gastro-esophageal reflux disease.

Overseas Laboratories Ovt Ltd, India made the medicines that were
imported by the National Pharmaceutical Company No.2 on July 12, 2010 with
expiry date July 11, 2013 and registered number VN2664-07.

The Hanoi Health Department has just issued its decision to
suspend Pluriamin tablets from circulation, due to poor quality.

The Tipharco Pharmaceutical Joint-Stock Company with
manufacturing date October 25, 2009 and expiry date October 25, 2011 and
registered number VNA-2411-04 manufactured the drug. The drug is a vitamin with
amino acids and minerals for the elderly, recuperating patients, malnutrition
children and pregnant women.

The drug tested with less content of vitamins B1, B2 and B6
than it had announced and had an unpleasant smell.

KOICA supports human
resource training in Quang Tri

The Republic of Korea (RoK) government through the Korea
International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) has funded a non-refundable aid worth
4.7 million USD to the central province
of Quang Tri for
constructing a vocational training school.

Apart from assistance to constructing the school, KOICA will
also provide the school with training and equipment.

Over recent time, KOICA has helped Vietnam to construct four technical colleges and
vocational training schools in Hanoi , Nge An, Da Nang and Bac Giang.

It plans to continue support Vietnam to build 6-7 technical
colleges and vocational training schools more in the coming time./.

Moves for VN to open
office in Russia

Legal procedures on the establishment of a Vietnam business and representative office in Russia were introduced at talks in Hanoi on April 20.

At the talks, Vice President and Secretary General of the
Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry Pham Gia Tuc said that the event,
attended by a working delegation from the Russian Justice Ministry’s National
Registration Bureau, was a good opportunity for Vietnamese businesses to
directly exchange with and hear explanations from the bureau.

The bureau also introduced services to assist foreign
businesses obtain visas and labour licences.

According to VCCI, Vietnam
had almost 20 projects in Russia
with a combined capital of around 1.6 billion USD in 2010.

HCM City waste management in chaos

Residents of Long Binh Ward in District 9 watch with
frustration as tons of untreated waste is regularly being dumped in their

Hundreds of trucks move stealthily in and out of the area
despite the district authorities assigning night watchmen.

This situation is not new to the city. According to several
companies, lack of infrastructure for waste treatment has caused waste
treatment costs to skyrocket and subsequently has led to the above condition.

Representatives of a company in District 12 said they had to
pay VND40million (US$1,900) for treatment of a ton of toxic waste, while the
price was only VND8-12million last year.

Nguyen Van Kim, who is in charge of environment management
of Casumina Hoc Mon Enterprise said his company already had many overheads like
environmental fees on waste water treatment, exhaust fumes, waste release,
industrial solid waste and toxic waste.

Nguyen Van Long, in charge of production at Uniliver Vietnam said
that the company spent US$720,000 for treatment of waste, generated during the
production process in a year.

It is likely that in 2012 the State will implement the
environmental tax. Commodities like gasoline, polymer and chemicals will be
taxed from 5-170 percent.

According to Associate Professor Nguyen Dinh Tuan, principle
of the Natural Resources and Environment
College, this will lead
to an overlap of environmental fees and taxes.

Most companies have expressed disagreement with the method
to collect environmental fees.

Each type of waste will have different bodies to collect the
fee. For instance, industrial waste dumping fee is collected by Department of
Environmental Protection, subsistence waste fee by the Saigon Water Supply
Corporation and underground water fee by district department of taxation.

On the other hand, for toxic waste, the Department of
Natural Resources and Environment allowed businesses to store the waste until
it was at least one truckload. The department also asked businesses to ensure
that in the storing process the waste was not released in the surrounding

However, Nguyen Huy Hoang, head of Binh Chieu Industrial
Zone management board said that recently his zone had been issued a penalty for
storing toxic waste.

Hue city University confers honorary title to Australian

Hue University’s College
of Medicine and Pharmacy has awarded
the Honorary Professor title to Professor Michael Patrick Dunne from Queensland
University of Technology’s School
of Public Health, the
Vietnam News Agency reported.

Prof. Dunne is currently head of the International Health
Program as well as the Public Health Cooperation Program between Queensland
University of Technology and Vietnam.

He has helped many students and teachers at Hue University
(HU) with their researches and applications for scholarships as well as
developed curricula at HU for the past five years.

Prof. Dunne has also raised funds to establish HU’s
Department of Public Health and set up a public health research center at the

He has provided assistance to medical colleges in Vietnam to
bolster their public health care services and human resources and organize
local and international seminars.

3 more Agribank
officials face criminal charges

The Ho Chi Minh
City police yesterday files charges against three
Agribank officials for violation of credit regulations and dereliction of duty
causing a loss of at least $4.8 million.

The three are Vo Duc Hung, former head of evaluation at the
Tan Binh District branch, Ngo Duc Tai, deputy head of credit at the same
branch, and Nguyen Minh Hoa, an internal inspector at the bank’s Southern Vietnam representative office.

Tai is in custody while the others are out on bail.

Tai and Hung sanctioned loans worth VND160 billion (US$7.65
million) to Cat Phuong Nam Co Ltd. and Truong Phat Dat Co Ltd, both of which
later appropriated more than VND100 billion ($4.8 million) from the loan.

Hoa is charged with dereliction of duty for finding out Tai
and Hung’s wrongdoings in the case but failing to report them.

Earlier, on April 16, the Ministry of Public Security
arrested Vu Quoc Hao, former general director of Agribank’s Financial Leasing
Company II (ALC II) after the State Audit of Vietnam discovered losses of
$143.4 million at the company.

It also took in Ton Quang Viet, former deputy head of
leasing at ALC II, and Dang Van Hai, chairman and general director of Quang
Vinh Construction and Trading Co Ltd.

All have been charged with “abusing power while on duty.”

ALC II is not authorized to lend, but Hao gave loans to
Hai’s company and a number of other businesses.

The Supreme People’s Procuracy has prosecuted them for
causing a loss of more than VND1.8 trillion ($86.1 million) to ALC II.

ALC II is headquartered in HCMC and has branches in various
southern provinces and cities.

Da Nang policemen knifed by gangsters

Two Da Nang
police officers were badly injured in a knife attack by gangsters after they
gave chase to two suspicious-looking men early yesterday morning.

Nguyen Van Nhon and Duong Minh Trung of the PC65 unit
confronted the two men at the junction of Nguyen Thi Minh Khai and Hung Vuong
Streets when two more gangsters arrived and attacked them with knives and

Nhon was stabbed five times while Trung was slashed thice.

By then the reinforcements they had called for arrived and
arrested the four — Nguyen Thanh Hieu, Nguyen Thanh Hau, Tran Van Hoang, and
Phan Phat — at gun point.

Conference highlights
law mandating free training for disabled

Disabled people in Vietnam will have free vocational
training under a new law enacted earlier this year, the Ministry of Labor, War
Invalids, and Social Affairs said at the conference.

Nguyen Ngoc Toan, head of the ministry’s Department of
Social Policies said the law was intended to create more education and job
opportunities for the disabled.

The law stipulates that people with disabilities must be
given priority when they enroll in an educational institution as well as be
exempt from courses or activities that are not suitable for their physical
conditions, he said.

Tran Van Tuan, a disabled resident of Thanh Hoa province,
told the conference education would give disabled people more confidence as
well as opportunities to fully take part in every aspect of society.

Tran Manh Huy, a disabled man who is working as an IT
engineer, agreed. “Education completely changed my life,” Huy said.

Dang Huynh Mai, president of the Vietnam Federation for
People with Disabilities, said the law was a good thing as it recognized the
important roles of the disabled in society.

Le Minh Hien, vice president of the Hanoi Association for
the Disabled, however cautioned that the law must be enforced in order to be

According to statistics revealed at the conference, 37
percent of Vietnam’s
disabled people are now living in poverty and 24 percent are living in
temporary housing.

Student video contest
looks at climate change

A video competition has been launched by the European
Commission delegation, in collaboration with the newspaper Sinh Vien (The
Student), inviting university students to make a short film about the impact of
climate change on Viet Nam.

The contest is part of a month-long series of intellectual
and cultural activities in the context of Europe Days 2011 and leading up to
Europe Day on May 9.

Contestants can submit short videos on how climate change is
affecting lives in Viet Nam
and filmed on either digital video cameras or mobile phones. The video should
be no longer than five minutes in duration and be accompanied by a narration
which can be either subtitled or in voice-over. Entries must be submitted to
The Student at 5 Hoa Ma Street,
Ha Noi, by May 20, and the full contest rules can be found at

The jury, consisting of environmental specialists,
professional videographers and media representatives, will award three main
prizes based on such criteria as the effectiveness of the video in conveying a
message about the impact of climate change; originality in how that message is
captured and presented; and the emotional impact of the film.

EU police bust huge Vietnam human
trafficking ring

British and Hungarian police say they have just cracked down
on a people smuggling network that brought thousands of Vietnamese into Europe.

Andre Baker, deputy director of Britain’s Serious Organized Crime
Agency, said Tuesday that 98 Vietnamese smugglers and other members of the
network have been arrested since the project began in 2009.

He says the illegal immigrants pay as much as €20,000
($28,500) to be smuggled into Europe, and those who can’t pay the full amount
are often forced into slave labor, some at secret marijuana farms in Britain.

Baker says there are 35,000 illegal Vietnamese immigrants in

He says that while British police discovered 6,900 marijuana
plantations last year — up from 2,000 in 2008 — the number of Vietnamese
working at them is now shrinking.

10 couples caught
having sex at Hanoi

At 1pm yesterday (Tuesday), police caught 10 couples having
sex at a restaurant in Hanoi.
Two have been arrested.

The number of couples caught red-handed in the ‘act’ in this
prostitution bust is a record number in the capital, Dan Tri reported.

The 10 couples were found inside closed rooms at the Chan
Que restaurant with massage facilities in Quoc Oai district’s Long Phu commune

Three ‘waitresses’ were found sitting at the reception area
waiting for customers.

Police from the Ministry of Public Security seized 28
condoms and VND15 million in cash at the reception and 7 cell phones.

Restaurant owner Lai Thi Chan, born in 1958, said that the
restaurant was opened in March 2010 with 18 rooms.

Chan recruited women from 17 to 30 years old from poor rural
families to work there.

Each was assigned one room to live and to ‘work’ whenever
there were male clients wanting to have sex.

The ‘waitresses’ were not paid but lived off tips.

Everyday, they were instructed to sit at the reception area
for customers to ‘choose’ from.

Chan’s son Dao Huu Cuong, 25, was in charge of receiving
customers and arranging rooms for prostitution activities.

Customers would have to pay VND200,000 (US$10) first,
VND70,000 of which will belong to the ‘waitresses’.

After one ‘session’, they must give a tip of at least
another VND200,000.

Chan and her son Cuong have been arrested.

Police are investigating.

Woman torching
husband to death indicted

After nearly 2-month treatment, Tran Cong Thuan, who was
burnt by his wife in February, has died at Cho
Ray Hospital
in Ho Chi Minh City.
His body was brought to central Ninh Thuan province yesterday for burial.

On the night of February 25, 2011, after drinking liquor
with his friends, Thuan did not go home - in My Son commune, Ninh Son district
- but he came to a hut near a tobacco drying house, 50 meters from his home, to
spend the night.

By midnight, while he was sleeping, a stranger poured some
petrol on him and then set him on fire.

When he torn off his clothes and jumped into a pond nearby,
Nguyen Thi Kim Giang, 28, his wife, suddenly appeared and called others to take
him to a local hospital for emergency aid.

Thuan was later transferred to Cho Ray Hospital for treatment, but due to
serious wounds, doctors failed to save him.

The police was called to the scene and after collecting
testimonies of witnesses and traces left on the scene, the police focused their
suspicion on Giang.

A local reported to the police that Giang had bought petrol
at a shop before the case occurred.

After being questioned by the police, Giang pleaded guilty
to burning her husband.

She declared that she and Thuan often had conflicted in
their marital life and she wanted to do so only to give him a warning.

Giang has been indicted and would be tried for murder, local
police said.

Recently, two other similar cases occurred in southern Long
An province and central Nghe An province. In the two cases, the names of both
the husbands and the wives are Hung and Lieu respectively.

The victims were Le Hoang Hung, 51, who was a journalist of
Nguoi Lao Dong (Laborer), and Nguyen The Hung, 35, who was a farmer addicted to

Hoang Hung was burnt with petrol by his wife, Tran Thi Lieu,
40, while he was sleeping at home in Long An on January 19, 2011. He died 10
days after treatment at hospital.

Similarly, The Hung was burnt, also with petrol, by his wife
Cao Thi Lieu, 32, after he was drunk and got home on the night of March 25. He
was burnt to death at his house’s piggery.

The two women have been arrested and charged with murder.

12th HCMC People’s
Council reviews its work

President Nguyen Minh Triet attended the closing session of
the 12th Ho Chi Minh City People’s Council Wednesday.

Secretary of the HCM City Party’s Committee Le Thanh Hai
spoke highly of positive changes in the organisation and structure of the
People’s Council, which, he said, have won people’s confidence and created
consensus among the people.

However, Chairperson of the Municipal People’s Council Pham
Phuong Thao pointed out shortcomings in supervision work and the settlement of
people’s petitions as well as in the operation of local administration

Human resource quality and administrative and judicial
reform in the city have failed to meet requirements while construction projects
remained slow and bureaucracy, corruption, wastefulness and social evils
remained, she said.

Hai took the occasion to call on the city’s sectors,
branches and people to actively prepare for the elections of the 13th NA and
the People’s Councils at all levels for the 2011-16 term on May 22.

He noted that the task of the 13th People’s Council will be
heavier when the city uses a pilot model of no people’s councils at district
and ward levels.

HCMC court sentences
smugglers of precious wood

The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court yesterday sentenced 9
defendants for smuggling US$1,24 million of precious wood to China.

The heaviest sentence, 16 years in prison, was given to
Nguyen Viet Hoa, 44, former director of Kim Loi Ltd. Company.

Chau Minh Xuyen, 51, former director of Chau Minh
Advertising Film Company was sentenced to 13 years and Mac Van Nguyen, 33,
former director of Nam Nguyen Company, to 12 years.

Nguyen Viet Nam,
50, a former customs officer at Ho Chi Minh City’s
Cat Lai Port
was sentenced to 8 years.

Nguyen The Van, another former customs officer, and four
other defendants were given sentences of a 1-year suspension to a 4-year prison

According to the HCMC Procuracy’s charge, from 2006 to
mid-2007, Hoa bought precious wood of unknown origin from the market with the
intention of illegally exporting them to China.

Hoa falsely declared with Cat Lai’s customs the contents of
his containers.

Through Xuyen and Nguyen, Hoa contacted Nam, who had been assigned to inspect Hoa’s
containers, and offered to pay him US$600 for every container Nam would let

accepted the offer and Hoa successfully exported 93 containers of precious wood
worth VND26 billion ($1,24 million).

On June 14, 2007, when Hoa was trying to export another 10
containers, he was caught in the act by the police. Hoa tried to escape but was
arrested in November 2007 near the Vietnamese-Cambodian border.

While he was in hiding, through Nguyen Ngoc Khanh, director
of Gia Khanh Ltd. Company, Hoa spent tens of thousands of dollar on bribery.

One lawyer from the HCMC Bar Association and an investigator
have also been found involved in the case and will be tried separately later.

100 city households
rewarded for saving power

One hundred households in Ho Chi Minh City have been honored for
conserving electricity last year and received a prize of VND2 million each.

More than 102,000 households signed up for a power-saving
campaign by the HCMC Women’s Association and the Energy Conservation
Center, and the number
has risen to 360,000 this year.

They have to commit that their energy consumption will not
increase by more than 9 percent.

The 100 households have been conferred the title of “Typical
Power Saving Household of the City” while 40 organizations were also feted.

Poor, low-income
register for subsidized power

Some 3.5 million households have registered to get the
government’s electricity subsidies, Electricity of Vietnam said.

Poor households get a cash subsidy of VND30,000 a month to
pay their power bills while low-income households – defined as those who
consume less than 50kWh a month — have to pay just VND993 for a kilowatt-hour
of electricity instead of the normal VND1,242.

There are 3.2 million poor households in Vietnam,
according to official figures.

EVN has recently imported 100 prepaid electric meters from China which
allow consumers to pay for electricity in advance and top their accounts

Proposed hike for
copyright fee sparks concerns

Vietnam Center of Protection Music Copyright (VCPMC) has
recently proposed to raise music copyright fees by 100%, leading to fierce
oppositions from the country’s Recording Industry Association (RIAV).

“We are shocked to hear VCPMC’s proposal”, Truong Thi Thu
Dung, deputy chairwoman of the RIAV said.

According to their proposal, VCPMC will charge VND 500,000-
1 million (US$24-48) a song for CD or VCD records, and VND 750,000 - 1,500,000
(US$ 36- 72) for DVDs.

“Their plan which suggests a 100 percent fee hike will
trouble many of our record producers,” said a member of the RIAV, “and
discourage many new recording products from hitting the market.”

VCPMC fought back, saying the old copy right fee it agreed
with RIAV in 2005 was no longer right amid the current troubled economy.

Back then, a CD or VCD record costs from VND 25,000- 30,000
(US$ 1.2 – 1.4) while it has risen to VND 50,000- 60,000 or more now.

“The economic recession has hit our industry hard, and the
number of records sold has sunk by one-fifth to one-tenth, compared to those of
previous years,” Dung explained.

Many members of RIAV are already struggling hard to survive
or on the verge of a bankruptcy, Dung said.

The associations’ members have decided to suspend all of
their production activities until a final decision from the Ministry of Finance
and the Copyright Office of Vietnam is reached.

VCPMC is legally bound to that decision and must act based
on it, warned Dung.

Source: Tuoi Tre/Dan

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