Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Looting causes huge financial losses in southern industrial zones

A thief was caught red-handed stealing iron from the Posco Vietnam Company last week.
A worker from the Hoa Sen Steel Factory in the southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province’s Phu My 1 Industrial Zone was caught red-handed Saturday stealing a chainsaw from the factory.

The theft epitomizes the rampant problem plaguing industrial zones in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, as brazen looting has caused losses of billions of dong for companies.

Earlier last Thursday, guards at Posco Vietnam Company in Phu My 1 Industrial Zone found a group of workers leaving work with steel pieces hidden under their clothing.

The total weight of the discovered steel was around 50 kilograms.

An official from the company said workers often stole steel pieces from its construction sites to sell as metal scraps.

Guards have discovered thefts almost daily, with lost quantities amounting to 50 to 200 kilograms per day, the official said.

“There are more than 20 sites that buy scrap metal that have been established near the industrial zone entrance in the last five years,” said Posco Vietnam’s Chief Administrative Officer Kil Soo Kang.

“Many workers go there to sell stolen steel after work.”

Kang said on June 10, around 80 workers had attacked the company’s guards to avenge a previously foiled theft.

In another attack, seven guards were hospitalized and a sentry-box was seriously damaged.

In May, a truck carrying steel from a factory belonging to the Southern Steel Corporation in Phu My 1

Industrial Zone was discovered with 20 tons of stolen construction steel.

Ba Ria-Vung Tau police investigated the case and found the factory’s storekeeper Pham Thanh Lam had colluded with the driver and a guard to take the steel.

Baconco Fertilizer Company in Phu My 1 Industrial Zone also said they have lost up to 1,300 tons of fertilizer per month recently.

In Dong Xuyen Industrial Zone, Izico Company has reported 40 cases of theft, while looting has also transpired at other industrial zones, including My Xuan A2 and My Xuan B1.

An official from the provincial police’s investigation department said the thefts have adversely impacted the investment environment in the province and the quality of construction works.

He blamed most of the lootings on lax recruitment of guards by companies, adding that some guards had colluded with workers in the operations.

Many companies recruit guards for temporary work without a contract, the official said.

“Companies should recruit qualified guards. Moreover, industrial zones should set up more police stations to deal with the issue.”

Reported by Nguyen Long