HA NOI (VNS) — The Ha Noi People's Procuracy yesterday proposed imposing a 30-year jail charge on one of Viet Nam's top banking tycoons, Nguyen Duc Kien, for his role in a multi-million dollar scandal uncovered last year.
As co-founder of the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) and a shareholder in some of Viet Nam's largest financial institutions, Kien, 50, was charged with fraud, tax evasion, illegal trade and deliberate wrongdoing causing serious consequences.
The procuracy suggested that besides being fined for illegal trade and tax evasion, Kien should be banned from holding positions in finance for three to five years.
Tran Ngoc Thanh, former director of the Ha Noi ACB Investment JSC, faces nine to 10 years in jail for swindling to appropriate assets, while its former chief accountant Nguyen Thi Hai Yen will likely receive a seven or eight year sentence on the same charge.
It was suggested that ACB former General Director Ly Xuan Hai sit behind bars for 12-14 years and former Vice Chairmen Le Vu Ky and Trinh Kim Quang for six to eight years.
The procuracy also asked for a three-year suspended sentence and five-year probation for former ACB Chairman Pham Trung Cang and board member Huynh Quang Tuan.
Former ABC Chairman Tran Xuan Gia was temporarily suspended from indictment because he is suffering from a serious illness.
According to the indictments, from 1993, Kien owned nearly 3.8 percent of ACB's shares. He served as ACB Vice Chairman from 1994-2008 and was chairman of the bank's investment council for nine years starting in 2003.
He was found to have used six of his own companies between May 2007 and August 2012 to conduct illegal financial and gold trading valued at more than VND21 trillion (US$1 billion) without the proper licences.
The businesses involved are Thien Nam Production and Import-Export JSC, B&B Trade and Investment JSC, Asia Financial Group JSC, Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) Ha Noi Investment JSC, Asia Hanoi Investment Financial JSC and Asia Investment JSC.
In addition, Kien swindled to appropriate assets in a mortgage of 20 million shares of the Hoa Phat Steel JSC worth VND 264 billion ($12.4 million) at the bank in 2012. The prosecution claimed that he instructed Thanh and Yen to make a fake document from a management board meeting to defraud the mortgage.
Kien and his accomplices Gia, Ky, Cang, Quang, Hai, and Tuan also issued a decision in 2010 mandating individuals to deposit cash and foreign currency at credit organisations.
Between June and September 9, 2011, Hai empowered the chief accountant to deposit VND720 billion ($33.8 million) at Vietinbank's Nha Be and HCM City branches. However, the money was embezzled by Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu, former Deputy Chief of the Risk Management Department of the Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank).
Kien and the former ACB officials also issued policies to buy stocks and invest in ACB shares, causing losses worth nearly VND690 billion ($32.4 million). — VNS