|Defendants at the trial on losses incurred by Đông Á Bank in HCM City on December 7. — VNA/VNS Photo by Thành Chung|
HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Procuracy on Friday sought life imprisonment for Trần Phương Bình, former general director and vice chairman of Đông Á Bank for “abusing power to appropriate assets,” and another 20 years for “lack of responsibility, causing serious consequences”.
It also wanted Bình to pay the bank VNĐ3.568 trillion (US$153 million) in compensation.
Bình is one of 26 defendants in the ongoing trial, with Phan Văn Anh Vũ, aka Vũ Nhôm, former chairman of Đà Nẵng-based Bắc Nam 79 Construction Joint-Stock Co, and Nguyễn Thị Kim Xuyến, the lender’s former deputy general director, being among the others.
They also face charges of causing losses by “intentionally violating regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences.”
The prosecutors have sought 15-17 years’ imprisonment for Vũ.
Vũ was sentenced to nine years in prison for “deliberately disclosing state secrets” by the Hà Nội People’s Court last July.
The indictment has sought 30 years for Xuyến.
The procuracy has sought an investigation of certain State Bank of Việt Nam officials and groups for approving Bình’s proposal to increase Đông Á Bank’s charter capital from VNĐ5 trillion ($220.3 million) to VNĐ6 trillion ($264.3 million) in 2014, but failing to discover he had used fake receipts.
Bình, who was also chairman of the bank’s credit council, was discovered to own 10.25 per cent of the bank’s charter capital by the investigators, while his family members held a further 7.7 per cent.
He was also in charge of the bank’s budget and investment division at the time.
According to the indictment, Bình directed all activities of funding and investment at the bank and abused power to appropriate property, causing a loss of VNĐ3.6 trillion (US$160 million).
The indictment said that the bank’s accumulated losses were VNĐ31 trillion ($1.37 billion) and equity capital was a negative VNĐ25.5 trillion ($1.12 billion), while total assets at the time of the violations were only VNĐ47 trillion ($2.1 billion). Bình’s violations were responsible for the losses, the indictment said.
Bình is charged with “abusing power to appropriate property” for directing DAB officers to spend VNĐ1.16 trillion ($51.1 million) to acquire the bank’s shares.
He also changed VNĐ294 billion to $13.9 million without proper documentation to later use for personal purposes, and used an additional VNĐ309 billion ($13.6 million) for personal purposes.
Bình is also charged with “intentionally violating regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences” for his directions to spend VNĐ467 billion ($20.6 million) for interest payments, VNĐ85 billion ($3.75 million) for loan settlements, and VNĐ49 billion ($2.16 million) for personal purposes.
He also illegally directed spending in gold and foreign currency, causing a loss of VNĐ1.6 trillion ($70.5 million).
The investigators concluded that Bình caused a loss of VNĐ200 billion ($8.8 million) for DAB while raising the bank’s charter.
During the investigation, Bình returned VNĐ4 billion ($180.000) to authorised agencies.
Another defendant, Xuyến, used virtual companies and individuals to help Bình withdraw VNĐ467 billion ($20.6 million) for the acquisition of DAB shares, according to the indictment.
She also appropriated VNĐ40 billion ($1.8 million) from the bank.
She is charged with “abusing power to appropriate property” and “intentionally violating regulations on economic management.”
In addition, Vũ was complicit in Bình’s crimes by buying 60 million DAB shares with total value of VNĐ600 billion ($26.4 million), the indictment said.
Vũ mortgaged his land in Đà Nẵng City to collect VNĐ400 billion ($17.6 million) from the bank, and then used this to purchase the bank’s stocks.
The remaining amount was paid by the bank per Bình’s instructions, after which Vũ signed fake documents showing that he had paid VNĐ200 billion ($8.8 million) to the bank.
This was the fourth criminal case in which Vũ has been involved since his capture on the run in Singapore in January.
During the investigation, Vũ returned VNĐ173 billion ($7.7 million).
Sixteen the bank’s officers who followed Bình and Xuyến’s orders face charges of deliberate breaches of law, causing serious consequences.
The other defendants include six borrowers from the bank who were allegedly involved in the case.
The trial began on November 28 and will run until December 25. — VNS