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Life sentence for swindling ex-Vietinbank official

Update: January, 27/2014 - 16:15
Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu, 36, is sentenced to life imprisonment for "swindling to appropriate assets" and "counterfeiting seals and materials of agencies and organisations". — Photo dantri.com.vn

HCM CTIY (VNS) — The People's Court of HCM City on January 27 sentenced Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu to life imprisonment for "swindling to appropriate assets" and "counterfeiting seals and materials of agencies and organisations".

The 36-year-old defendant is the former deputy chief of the Risk Management Department of the Viet Nam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank). She was discovered to have appropriated nearly VND4 trillion (US$188.7 million) from individuals and banks.

Vo Anh Tuan, 41, another former official at Vietinbank, was also charged with "swindling to appropriate assets" and received a 20-year jail sentence. Tuan had supported Nhu in her scam for appropriating money from banks, individuals and businesses.

Another 21 defendants in the case, including loan sharks, were also given sentences ranging from one year probation to 17 years in jail.

The Jury Board rejected the defence lawyers' argument that Vietinbank was liable for the victims' losses, and ruled that Nhu was liable to compensate the bank for the losses she had caused.

According to the court's indictment, in 2007, Nhu exploited her position at the bank to raise over VND 200 billion (USD9.43 million) from banks, organisations and individuals at high interest rates to invest in the local property market.

In 2010, when the market stagnated, Nhu suffered huge losses and became bankrupt.

From March 2010 until September 2011, under the pretext of mobilising capital for two Vietinbank branches, Nhu allegedly obtained loans totalling VND3.9 trillion from three individuals, nine companies and three banks.

She also forged the seals of Vietinbank and several companies, including Phuc Vinh, Thinh Phat, Hung Yen, An Loc, Duc Minh Quang and Saigonbank Berjaya. In addition, she forged nearly 200 documents, including 110 fake contracts between Vietinbank's Nha Be branch and individuals and agencies.

The victims of her scam included the Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ACB), the Nam Viet Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Navibank) and the Vietnam International Bank's HCM City branch.

In addition, the Jury Board ordered the prosecution of an additional eight individuals involved in Nhu's appropriation of VND15 billion (US$707,000) from the Vietnam International Commercial Joint Stock Bank (VIBank).

The court has also directed officials to conduct further investigations to find out whether any more individuals are responsible for the repeated violations at Vietinbank; executive officers at ACB and Navibank will also be questioned over the issue. — VNS



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