Two companies fined for illegal sand exploitation

Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee has issued administrative penalties on two companies which fell foul of the city authorities.

Mekong Commercial Investment Company in Tan Binh District and Dai Phuong Nam Trading Company with its head quarter in the southern province of Ba Ria – Vung Tau each received a fine of VND95 million (over $4,000) for illegal exploitation of sand in Can Gio sea.
In addition to administrative fine, authorities confiscated 509.1 cubic meter sand and a dredger of Mekong Company whereas authorities seized 614 cubic meter sand and a dredger of Dai Phuong Nam Company. Total cost of sand and a dredger is nearly VND10 billion.
In spite of huge confiscation, penalties are unable to deter violators from breaching the regulation; hence, sand exploitation and transportation have developed complicatedly in Ho Chi Minh City.
There has been some loopholes in the law that have led to insolvable illicit sand exploitation.
For instance, according to the article 227 in the penal code 2015 revised in 2017, police will launch legal proceeding against sand exploiters who make unlawful profit of over VND100 million or cost of sand is over VND500 million.
Moreover, the law stipulates that only violators who had received administrative fine before but keep breaching the regulation will be prosecuted
Because the law regulates the high cost of sand, many violators managed to beat the rap.
Good profit from illicit sand exploitation along with huge demand of sand for construction of high buildings while sanction is not tough enough to deter sand violators from breaching the law; accordingly, a legislative amendment imposing a stricter penalty is needed.

By THANH TAM – Translated by NHA CA

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