HÀ NỘI — The police detained two ex-bankers yesterday for allegedly contributing to the loss of VNĐ1.8 trillion (US$80 million) as part of Phạm Công Danh’s notorious case.
The Department of Economic and Corruption Crime Investigation under the Ministry of Public Security announced that it initiated official probe against the 58-year-old Trầm Bê, former chairman of the credit board of the Sài Gòn Thương Tín Commercial Bank (Sacombank) and the bank’s former CEO Phan Huy Khang.
The two were both accused of deliberate breaches in economic management causing serious consequences, according to Article 165 of the Penal Code.
A July probe into Phạm Công Danh’s case revealed that the former board chairman of the Việt Nam Construction Bank (VNCB) caused a loss of more than VNĐ6 trillion ($266 million) to his bank from making loans with another three banks: Sacombank, Tiền Phong (TPBank) and the Việt Nam Investment and Development (BIDV).
According to the investigation, Danh came to visit Bê in April, 2013, asking to borrow VNĐ1.8 trillion from Sacombank for his six companies.
Bê agreed to lend the amount, demanding that the VNCB’s money deposited at the Sacombank to become the collateral for the loans.
He in person took Danh to meet Khang, ordering the then-CEO to let Danh borrow the money.
The loan documents were signed off by Bê on April 25, 2013, according to the police.
As Danh’s companies later failed to pay off the debts, Sacombank took VNĐ1.8 trillion from the VNCB and another VNĐ35 billion in interest.
The police concluded that Bê and another 14 Sacombank employees broke the law by allowing Danh to borrow the money.
The State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV), however, said that the loans did not cause financial losses to the Sacombank, and thus have asked that the group be exempt from criminal charges.
Bê resigned from Sacombank deputy board chairmanship in February after prompting by the SBV.
Another 23 indicted
Also yesterday, the police announced that they were prosecuting 23 other suspects from different banks for “intentionally acting in contravention of the State’s regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences,” as regulated in Article 165 of the Penal Code. Of those, they also issued arrest warrants for 14 defendants.
The suspects, like Trầm Bê, are also leaders and staff of Sacombank, TPBank, BIDV and VNCB.
They were arrested for allegedly helping Phạm Công Danh withdraw trillions of đồng in the biggest economic scam in the nation’s history.
The Investigation Department of the Ministry of Public Security also conducted searches at the suspects’ residences. — VNS