District Deputy Chairman’s House Strikes Gold

A group of workers building a house for Huynh Van Chinh, Deputy Chairman of Binh Tan District People’s Committee, Ho Chi Minh City, found hundreds of taels of gold in a bag buried in the ground, a local newspaper reported Friday.

Not modern gold

Ly Van Dong, director of Ha Dong Co., was building the house for Mr. Chinh, and confirmed with a SGGP reporter that the gold discovered was by no means modern gold. Though he was not present at the gold discovery on June 5, 2006, he saw 4 taels of the gold that one of his workers had in possession.

He confirmed that he had assigned one of his employees to work with another group of outside contractors on the job. His sole employee made off whit some of the gold.

He said, “It was flat pieces of gold, two and a half of which will make up a tael. The gold pieces were dirty outside, with landscape patterns like the gold pieces of long ago. They were not SJC taels of gold, like what newspapers said today.”

Mr. Dong recalled that the gold, was found during the Thanh Minh Festival as Chinh’s family was also away for the festivities. Therefore, nobody was present at the site, except the workers.

Mr. Dong said, “My employee told me that while they were pressing foundation pickets, they found the bag of gold underground. The gold was buried fairly deep in the ground, not just under a floor brick as reported by a newspaper. The group of 13 workers then quickly divided the gold among themselves and left for their home town. My employee, who was given four taels of gold, also quit his job.”

Not my property

Talking to SGGP reporter, Mr. Chinh said that he only knew the story from Mr. Dong five days after the event. Mr. Chinh said, “Not seeing it with my own eyes and thinking that it was not my family’s properties, I did not report to the police, but only to the Secretary of the District Party Committee and the Chairman of the People’s Committee. I confirmed in the reports that the gold found, if the story had been true, was not my family’s property.”

Golden history

He also explained that he bought the house from Binh Chanh district Trading Cooperative in 1992. In 2006 he had the house taken down for renovation. Hoa Dong Co. had the package construction contract for VND 380 million.

His family moved to another house during the construction time, leaving only a relative for supervision. As a district deputy chairman, he always took precautions never to forget any of his belongings, and denies that he ever could have left something as important as gold at the old house.

He said, “Not long ago, I had my house broken into and my motorcycle stolen. It was my hard-earned property stolen, so I immediately reported to the police in the hope that they could help me find it. Do you think that I could make such a silly mistake of forgetting my gold property? As I said, the gold was not my property, so I did not want to make a big fuss. The news caused much negative effects to my reputation.”

Police Chief of An Lac Ward, Binh Tan District Ho Van Ngong said that he only knew the story from newspapers as there was no report about it. Rumors are  floating around as to how much the gold was worth, but no one can be sure.

By Nguyen Vinh - Translated by Le Thao

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