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Vinalines ex-heads face death penalty

Update: December, 14/2013 - 09:53

HA NOI (VNS)— The Ha Noi People's Procuracy has requested the death penalty for two former executives of the Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines), who went on trial on Thursday.

Former Chairman of Vinalines Duong Chi Dung and former General Director Mai Van Phuc have been charged with intentionally violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences, and also with embezzlement.

Imprisonment of between 22-24 years was recommended for Tran Huu Chieu, Vinalines's former Vice General Director, and between 28-30 years for Tran Hai Son, Director of Vinalines Ship Repair Co. Ltd, on the same charges.

The prosecutors also sought 6-8 years in prison for Bui Thi Bich Loan, Vinalines' former chief accountant, Le Van Duong, former official at Viet Nam Registry, and Huynh Huu Duc, Le Ngoc Trien and Le Van Lung, former officials at Tan Phong Customs Office, Khanh Hoa province. Also, an 8-10 year sentence was recommended for Mai Van Khang, member of Vinalines project management board, on charges of intentionally violating State regulations on economic management causing severe consequences.

Also, Dung, Phuc, Son and Chieu were asked to pay back over VND28 billion (US$1.3 million) they had embezzled, while the ten defendants would have to pay compensation for damages they have caused, totaling VND338 billion ($15.8 million).

According to the indictment issued at the court, during 2007-08 Dung and his accomplices violated regulations on investment, bidding and customs procedures for import and export through the purchase and repair of Floating Dock 83M. The malpractice caused losses of VND366.9 billion ($17.2 million) to the State budget.

Officials said that during the purchase, Dung and three others, Mai Van Phuc, Tran Huu Chieu, and Tran Hai Son, appropriated more than VND28 billion ($1.3 million).

The indictment noted that while knowing that the floating dock, built in 1965, had been damaged and was not in use since 2006, its owner offered a negotiable price of under $5 million. Yet Dung signed Decision 186/QD-HDQT on February 15, 2008 approving the purchase of the dock at a price of $9 million from an intermediary, the Singapore-based AP company, which bought the dock from its real owner at only $2.3 million.

According to the procuracy, Dung was the main suspect in the case, and also misappropriated VND10 billion ($470,000).

Dung was arrested on September 4, 2012, after fleeing on May 17, 2012 when an indictment and arrest warrant were issued for him.

The trial is scheduled to last three days. — VNS


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