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Former bank officials to be prosecuted for theft

Update: December, 03/2015 - 09:54
Pham Cong Danh, ex-Chairman of the Viet Nam Construction Bank Board of Directors. — Photo

HCM CITY (VNS) — The police Investigation Agency of the Ministry of Public Security made recommendations to prosecute 36 former officials of Viet Nam Construction Bank (VNCB).

The defendants stand accused of, "deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences;…violating lending regulations of credit institutions;…and a general lack of responsibility, causing serious consequences."

Along with the recommendations, their dossiers were sent to the Supreme People's Procuracy of Viet Nam yesterday.

The results of the investigation reveal that after the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) gave the nod to VNCB's restructuring project in September 2012, the process was riddled with nepotism and acted as a shield for withdrawals of large sums of money for private purposes.

Pham Cong Danh, ex-Chairman of the VNCB Board of Directors, Chairman of the Member Board and General Director of Thien Thanh Group, directed his staff to set up numerous portfolios and withdraw a total of VND12 trillion (US$528 million) from VNCB for private purposes. This resulted in total economic losses of over VND9 trillion ($396 million) for VNCB.

Apart from Thien Thanh Group, Danh established 29 other companies and asked his relatives and acquaintances to act as these companies' directors and VNCB stock holders.

Danh was indicted with, "deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing severe consequences" and "violating lending regulations of credit institutions."

The Supreme People's Court handed out a prison sentence of six years to the former bank official for, "abusing trust with appropriate property," under Article 135 of the 1985 Penal Code.

The charge was also applied to several others, including: Phan Thanh Mai, former Director of the VNCB; Mai Huu Khuong, former Director of the VNCB's Sai Gon branch; and Hoang Dinh Quyet, former Director of the VNCB's Lam Giang branch.

Four others are to be prosecuted for "deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing severe consequences" and 25 others for "violating lending regulations of credit institutions."

According to a decision made in March by SBV Governor Nguyen Van Binh, the SBV has acquired all of VNCB's equity, with stakes transferred at the price of zero dong per share.

The acquisition is compulsory to restore VNCB's payment capacities in line with the country's overarching efforts to create a healthier banking system.

In mid-2014, the SBV appointed new officials to the VNCB after former executives at the bank were arrested for allegedly violating state regulations.

Apart from VNCB, other commercial banks that the SBV owned this year were OceanBank and GP Bank. The SBV acquired all three banks this year at zero dong per share due to the banks' ailing performances and failure to meet required charter capital increases. — VNS

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