The Da River water pipeline keeps rupturing, causing a water shortage for some 177,000 households in Hanoi (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Ministry of Public Security’s Police Investigation Agency has prosecuted Phi Thai Binh, former chairman of the Vinaconex board of directors, for violating construction regulations and causing serious consequences.

Binh, who is also former vice chairman of the Hanoi People’s Committee, was found to be responsible for the mismanagement during the time he held the position at the company.

State-owned Vinaconex was the investor of the Da River water pipeline, with total investment of 1.45 trillion VND (64.4 million USD). The pipeline was put into operation in 2009 and has been ruptured several times in the past several years, causing serious impact on some 177,000 city households due to the water shortage.

Former CEO of Vinaconex Nguyen Van Tuan and five other executives also face charges for violating construction and investment regulations.

They are all on bail due to old age and poor health.

The decision has been handed over to the Supreme People’s Court.

Previously, the Police Investigation Agency had announced the results of the investigation on the Da River water pipeline. Construction of the pipeline, which carried water from Da River to Hanoi, was completed in 2004 and put into use five years later.

However, the pipeline was ruptured 14 times between 2012 and 2015, leading to a shortage of water for 177,000 households for nearly 350 hours and an estimated loss of 1.5 million cu.m of water. The company has spent more than 13 billion VND (572,900 USD) to fix the incidents.

The investigation’s results revealed that members of the Vinaconex’s board of directors, including Phi Thai Binh, Nguyen Van Tuan, To Ngoc Thanh, Hoang Hop Thuong and Vu Dinh Cham, decided to use substandard untested fiberglass composite, causing massive ruptures, and chose a disqualified and inexperienced contractor to supply the poor quality pipeline for the project.

In March 2016, the Supreme People’s Court prosecuted nine officials for violating regulations on investment and construction management. Several months later, Binh and his former partners were proposed to be exempt from criminal prosecution, leading to outrage among the public.-VNA