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Death penalty mooted in Ocean Bank case

Update: September, 15/2017 - 10:01
Hà Nội’s People’s Procuracy will seek the death penalty in the case against Nguyễn Xuân Sơn, former director general of Ocean Bank, and life in prison for Hà Văn Thắm, former chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, it announced on Thursday. — Photo vietnamnet.vn

HÀ NỘI — Hà Nội’s People’s Procuracy will seek the death penalty in the case against Nguyễn Xuân Sơn, former director general of Ocean Bank, and life in prison for Hà Văn Thắm, former chairman of the Board of Directors of the bank, it announced on Thursday.

A sentence of 16-18 years in prison is proposed for Sơn for “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing severe consequences”, life imprisonment for “abusing position and power to appropriate property”, and the death penalty for “embezzling property”.

Meanwhile, the procuracy called for a sentence of 19-20 years in prison for Thắm for “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing severe consequences”, 18-20 years in prison for “violating lending regulations of credit institutions”, a 20-year imprisonment for “abusing position and power to appropriate property”, and a life sentence for ““embezzling property”, combining to life in prison.

Prosecutors also proposed imprisonment of 24-27 years for Ocean Bank former director general Nguyễn Minh Thu and 20-24 years for Ocean Bank former deputy director general Nguyễn Văn Hoàn Thu.

The defendants will also be requested to compensate a total of VNĐ1.576 trillion (US$69.3 million) for Ocean Bank. Nguyễn Xuân Sơn alone was asked to pay nearly VNĐ200 billion in compensation to the Ocean Bank and more than VNĐ49 billion to PetroVietnam. Hứa Thị Phấn was asked to return VNĐ500 billion to Ocean Bank.

According to the court’s verdict, when working as Ocean Bank’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Thắm and his accomplices, who are other former leaders and employees of the bank, committed a series of violations of credit regulations, causing losses for the bank and seriously affecting the State’s monetary policies. Their violations resulted in losses of nearly VNĐ2 trillion ($88 million) for the bank.

Specifically, Thắm directed his subordinates to approve a loan for former Chairman of the Vietnam Construction Bank’s Board of Directors Phạm Công Danh without guaranteeing the lending conditions, collateral and proper purposes, causing losses of nearly VNĐ350 billion ($15.3 million) for the bank.

He directed the bank’s staff to pay interest rates outside of deposit mobilising contracts for customers.

Sơn was found to have worked with Thắm to charge customers additional fees, triggering losses of nearly VNĐ69 billion ($3.02 million) for the bank and customers. Meanwhile, Thu instructed the bank’s branches to pay interest rates exceeding those regulated in deposit mobilising contracts, causing losses of VNĐ1.576 trillion ($69 million).

The trial for the case began on August 28, and will last 20 days.

During the process of the trial, the investigation police agency launched several criminal cases related to the trial. — VNS

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