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Court upholds sentences for three former leaders of OceanBank

Update: May, 05/2018 - 09:00
The High-level People’s Court in Hà Nội yesterday upheld the charges and sentences for three former leaders of the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OceanBank) ruled at the first-instance trial for their wrongdoings at the bank.— VNA/VNS Photo Văn Điệp

HÀ NỘI — The High-level People’s Court in Hà Nội yesterday upheld the charges and sentences for three former leaders of the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OceanBank) ruled at the first-instance trial for their wrongdoings at the bank. 

Accordingly, the court upheld the verdict on Hà Văn Thắm, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of OceanBank, who was sentenced to life imprisonment. The sentence includes 19 years in prison for “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing severe consequences”, 18 years in prison for “breaching lending regulations of credit institutions”, life imprisonment for “property embezzlement”, and 20 years in prison for “abusing positions and power to appropriate assets.” 

The death penalty for Nguyễn Xuân Sơn, former Director General of OceanBank, was also upheld. He received 17 years in prison for “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing severe consequences”, the death penalty for “property embezzlement”, and life imprisonment for “abusing positions and power to appropriate assets.” 

Within seven days of the appeal trial announcing its verdict, Sơn has the right to submit a plea for clemency to the State President. 

Considering Sơn’s sincere confession, his family’s compensation for consequences at the Việt Nam Oil and Gas Group resulting from his “property embezzlement”, and some other factors, the jury proposed the Chief Justice of the Supreme People’s Court, the Prosecutor General of the Supreme People’s Procuracy and the State President to consider converting Sơn’s punishment from the death penalty to life imprisonment as regulated in Point c, Clause 3 and Clause 4 of Article 40 in the 2015 Penal Code. 

The jury also took into consideration the unstable financial market when Thắm committed irregularities, his sincere confession and other mitigating factors. It asked authorised agencies to apply mitigating conditions to reduce Thắm’s punishment from life imprisonment to fixed-term imprisonment. 

The 22-year imprisonment was also kept for former General Director of OceanBank Nguyễn Minh Thu. She will be imprisoned for nine years for “abusing positions and power to appropriate assets” and 13 years for “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing severe consequences.”

Meanwhile, Nguyễn Văn Hoàn, former Deputy General Director of OceanBank, will be sentenced to 20 years in prison (down two years from the first-instance trial’s verdict) for “abusing positions and power to appropriate assets” and “breaching lending regulations of credit institutions.” 

Six other defendants accused of “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing severe consequences” also received reductions in their prison sentences. 

During the investigation and at the trial, Nguyễn Thị Thu Ba (former director of the retail client division) and Đỗ Đại Khôi Trang (former director of the individual client division) said their wrongdoings had been made under the direction of Deputy General Director Trần Thanh Quang. Therefore, the jury asked the investigative police agency of the Ministry of Public Security to launch criminal proceedings against Quang to probe his involvement. 

According to the court’s verdict, when working as Chairman of the Board of Directors of OceanBank, Thắm and his accomplices committed a series of violations of credit regulations, causing losses for the bank and seriously affecting the State’s monetary policy. Their violations resulted in losses of nearly VNĐ2 trillion (equivalent to US$87.7 million at present) for OceanBank. 

Sơn was found to have co-ordinated with Thắm to charge customers additional fees, triggering a loss of nearly VNĐ69 billion ($3.02 million) for the bank and customers. Meanwhile, Nguyễn Minh Thu instructed the bank’s branches to pay interest rates outside the mobilising deposit contracts, causing losses of VNĐ1.576 trillion ($69 million). — VNS

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