Vietnam Names 11 Officials Responsible for the Formosa Scandal
Do you remember the Formosa scandal?
In April 2016, Formosa Ha Tinh Steel, a unit of the Taiwanese conglomerate Formosa Plastics, polluted a 200-kilometre-long strip along Vietnam’s central coast. One hundred tonnes of fish died and a whole economic sector was ruined. In June 2016, Formosa did the least they could do: pay $500 million in compensation to the Vietnamese government and publicly apologise.
On Wednesday, 22 February 2017, Vietnam’s Party Inspection Commission has, for the first time, declared 11 officials to be responsible for what has become one of the country’s worst environmental disasters in the last decades, which has affected not less than four provinces.
Government Names Responsible Officials
After government officials announced they would punish four officials over the environmental catastrophe, they have now stated the names of the party members they’ve deemed responsible.
Among the accused are high-profile names such as Nguyen Minh Quang, the ex-Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Bui Cach Tuyen, Nguyen’s former vice minister and Vo Kim Cu, who used to be the head of Ha Tinh province’s (where the incident occurred) people’s committee.
According to the report of the Party Inspection Commission, the aforementioned 11 officials who will be disciplined were "irresponsible in leadership and direction, lax in management and administration” and showed a “lack of inspection and monitoring”. In the commission’s view, this encouraged the more than 50 violations committed by Formosa that eventually led to the accident.
Ten Years to Recover
While the wastewater of Formosa’s Ha Tinh steel plant has recently come to meet environmental standards, the region is expected to suffer from this incident for at least a decade.
The worst damage struck the local fishermen, and the question remains: are fish caught in central Vietnam safe to eat?