Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI – Hà Nội People’s Court yesterday handed two death penalties and a life sentence in one of the biggest corruption cases in Việt Nam’s history.
After a four-day trial, three ex-officials of the bankrupt state-owned firm Vinashin Ocean Shipping Ltd, or Vinashinlines, were concluded to have embezzled a total of more than VNĐ260 billion (US$11.5 million).
Vinashinlines former sales manager Giang Kim Đạt, 40, and his 62-year-old ex-superior, former director general Trần Văn Liêm, received a draconian death sentence for embezzlement. They were said to have embezzled at least VNĐ255 billion and VNĐ3.3 billion respectively.
Vinashinlines former chief accountant Trần Văn Khương, 67, will stay behind bars for the rest of his life after embezzling $110,000.
Vinashinelines was a subsidiary of the marine conglomerate Việt Nam Ship Building Industry Group (Vinashin). Ten Vinashin executives were arrested and brought to trial on embezzlement charges so far. The estimated state losses of the Vinashin scandal--which came to light in 2008--is more than VNĐ910.2 billion.
According to the indictment, as director general of the company, Liêm from July 2006 to March 2007 signed contracts to buy three foreign ships, Vinashin Summer from Panama, Vinashin Island from Croatia and Vinashin Phoenix from Greece. He authorised Đạt to negotiate with the foreign partners.
Đạt managed to gain nearly VNĐ11.5 billion of commission during negotiations to buy those ships.
The trio also shared some VNĐ250 billion illegally earned from rigging renting prices with nine ship owners from May 2006 to June 2008. Liêm and Khương received $150,000 and $110,000 respectively.
Đạt kept the rest to himself and sent it, along with the commission gained in the three ship deals, to 22 bank accounts opened under the name of his father, Giang Văn Hiển, 67, who was sentenced to 12 years in prison for money laundering yesterday.
Aware of the illicit origin of the money, Hiển still spent it on 40 real estate properties and land lots in Hà Nội, HCM City and Nha Trang. They were registered under Hiển’s name and other family members’, so were some 13 luxury cars bought at the time.
Đạt also bought a SGD$3.5 million ($2.4 million)-worth property in Singapore and deposited nearly 350,000 British pounds ($435,200) to rent and buy two apartments in the UK.
He was arrested in 2015, after five years on the run from an international warrant. – VNS