Sunday, November 18 2018

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12-year jail sentence upheld for Đinh Ngọc Hệ

Update: November, 02/2018 - 09:00
Đinh Ngọc Hệ (standing right) and Trần Văn Lâm (standing left) at the court. —VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — The Central Military Court upheld a 10-year jail sentence for Đinh Ngọc Hệ – also known as “Ut trọc”, former Deputy director general of Thái Sơn Corporation – for “abusing position and power while performing official duties”, and another two years for “using falsified documents of agencies and organisations”, as heard at the court of appeals on November 1. 

The jail sentence started from the detention date on December 3, 2017.

Former director general of Thái Sơn Corporation Trần Văn Lâm is also serving five years behind bars charged with “abusing position and power while performing official duties”, which began from his detention date of March 13, 2017. 

Phùng Danh Thắm, former chairman of the board of directors and general director of Thai Son Corporation, received a two year non-custody sentence for “lack of responsibility causing serious consequences”.

He and Lâm were also banned from taking on corporate leadership roles following their jail terms for four and three years, respectively. Thắm is also prevented from holding the top tiers of management for any business for two years following the verdict.

Defendants in the case were required to compensate VNĐ3.4 billion (US$147,000) to the State budget. 

The indictment said during 2011-2016, he used his position as a representative of Thái Sơn Corporation’s stake in Thái Sơn JSC, as well as chairman and general director of Thái Sơn JSC, to make inaccurate reports on the Thai Son’s operations, falsely claiming its functions and tasks in order to gain contracts in key national projects. 

He also instructed his subordinates to get military and official number plates for company cars, then used them as collateral. They pocketed more than VNĐ6 billion from these acts alone. The military inspectorate stated that the illegal use of the vehicles with military and official number plates violated rules on public automobiles, triggering denouncement from the public and affecting the reputation of the military.  

Regarding other accomplices, the military inspectorate said Lâm was made general director of the Thái Sơn JSC after its name was changed to Thái Sơn Development and Investment JSC-Defence Ministry. After the market management agency of Bình Dương Province detected more than 20,000 litres of sub-standard petrol at Thái Sơn JSC, Lâm, at the instruction of Hệ, signed a document sent to Bình Dương People’s Committee on July 17, 2014, claiming that Thái Sơn JSC was a military company doing business alongside defence duties in order to ask for an exemption for the fine.

Later, Lâm, together with former commander of the Air Defence-Air Force Service’s Division 367 Bùi Văn Tiếp and former Director of Thái Sơn JSC’s Bình Dương branch Trần Xuân Sơn, fabricated contracts on petrol deposits and storage, as well as other documents to claim that the sub-standard petrol belonged to Division 367, and was not for the purpose of sale. This act was said to have caused a loss of more than VNĐ1.4 billion in fines that would have been contributed to the State budget. 

Thắm also showed lax management responsibility by failing to detect the illegal use of vehicles with military and official number plates by He.

The indictment said that although Hệ did not admit to the charges, the military inspectorate found the documents and evidence collected during the investigation constituted sufficient grounds for the charges. 

Hệ was also found to have bought a false university score record and degree, using them in his Party membership dossier for the purpose of a promotion and salary raise. 

Also according to the indictment, the defendants voluntarily asked to repair the consequences of their acts, handing over a total of VNĐ1.28 billion to the Ministry of Defence’s criminal investigation agency. Of the money, He paid back VNĐ500 million, Xuân Sơn VNĐ500 million, Tiếp VNĐ250 million, Thắm VNĐ20 million, and Lâm VNĐ10 million. —VNS 

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