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VietNamNews

Ex-Agribank chief, 17 others jailed

Update: January, 08/2016 - 09:27
The Ha Noi People's Court yesterday gave a 22-year prison sentence to Pham Thanh Tan, former General Director of State-owned Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank), completing a 15-day trial in Ha Noi in a corruption case involving thousands of billions of dong. — Photo vov.vn

HA NOI (VNS) — The Ha Noi People's Court yesterday gave a 22-year prison sentence to Pham Thanh Tan, former General Director of State-owned Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank), completing a 15-day trial in Ha Noi in a corruption case involving thousands of billions of dong.

Sentences of 30 years will also be served by former Director of the South Ha Noi branch Pham Thi Bich Luong and former Deputy Director Chu Thi Kim Hien, who were prosecuted for violating lending regulations in the credit organisations' operation, and for abusing their positions and authority while performing duties.

The court also pronounced a 16-year prison sentence to Do Tien Long, a former official of the credit division of Agribank branch in southern Ha Noi for having violating the credit law that caused vast financial losses to the bank.

The two former senior bank officials were with 16 other defendants to be jailed for being involved in a corruption case that caused loss of a total of VND2.425 trillion (US$108 million) at a branch of Agribank.

Thirteen of the 18 defendants are former Agribank officials while four others are former customs officers, and one is a former company director.

The 13 bank officials were sentenced from 2 to 16 years in prison for various irresponsible banking practices, some of which caused serious consequences. They were banned from working in the credit sector for three to five years after finishing their sentences and are required to pay back VND2.425 trillion of misappropriated money to Agribank.

The indictment at the trial read that the ‘Enzo Viet Joint Stock Company', founded in June 2007, registered an investment into a weaving & dyeing garment factory, worth nearly VND530 billion (US$23.5 million) in northern Ninh Binh province. After changing investment certificates and shareholders three times, Enzo Viet was renamed ‘Lifepro Viet Nam Joint Venture Company' and the weaving & dyeing garment project renamed the ‘Luxfashion' project in early 2011.

Five foreigners, including a Chinese national, three Canadians, and one Italian at ‘Lifepro Viet Nam,' are charged with misappropriating assets of Agribank's South Ha Noi branch.

Through changing the legal entity, and renaming the weaving & dyeing garment project, they then compiled dossiers to seek loans at the branch to buy machinery, equipment and materials and to buy six fashion brands.

The Ministry of Public Security issued a decision prosecuting the five foreigners for embezzlement of assets. However, they fled Vietnam and police had to suspend the investigation.

From August 2008 to August 2012, former Director Luong sought more authority from bank directors to approve loans, sign mortgage contracts and disburse loans that the branch had provided for the ‘Lifepro Viet Nam Joint Venture Company', the ‘Vietmade Joint Stock Company' and the ‘Lifepro Viet Nam Joint Stock Company'.

Luong approved loans for the Lifepro Viet Nam Company, based only on the information given by the firm and without conducting proper verification, or due diligence. — VNS

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