Defendants at the court hearing on Thursday. VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn
HÀ NỘI — Lê Bạch Hồng, former deputy minister of labour, invalids and social affairs and former general director of Việt Nam Social Security (VSS), was sentenced to six years in prison by the Hà Nội People’s Court yesterday.
He was charged with “intentionally violating State regulations on economic management, leading to serious consequences”, which caused a loss of more than VNĐ430billion (US$18.7million) to the VSS.
Nguyễn Huy Ban, former general director of the VSS, and Nguyễn Phước Tường, former head of the planning-finance department and former chief accountant of the VSS, were handed 14 years in prison each on similar charges.
Hoàng Hà and Trần Tiến Vỹ, who are former heads of the general planning division under the planning-finance department, will serve three and seven years respectively in prison.
Trần Thanh Thủy, a former specialist at the general planning division, was sentenced to two years in prison for "lack of responsibility, causing serious consequences", but she was handed a suspended sentence.
The six defendants caused losses of VNĐ1.7 trillion ($74million) to the VSS.
They have been ordered to pay more than VNĐ835 billion ($36.3 million) to the VSS, including more than VNĐ150 billion ($6.5 million) from Lê Bạch Hồng, VNĐ292 billion ($12.7 million) from Nguyễn Huy Ban and than VNĐ390 billion ($17 million) from the others.
According to the judgment, Hồng, as VSS general director, signed and directed the execution of three loan contracts for Agribank Financial Leasing Company No 2 (ALC II), which it is now unable to recover, causing State economic losses of more than VNĐ434 billion ($18.8 million).
Agribank was asked to pay compensation of more than VNĐ862 billion ($37.5 million) for the VSS.
Meanwhile, Ban is accused of signing and directing the execution of 11 other loan contracts worth VNĐ630 billion ($27.4 million) for ALC II, which was not in line with the investment principles of the VSS fund, causing State economic losses of over VNĐ1.26 trillion ($54.8 million).
The other four defendants followed orders from Hồng and Ban to sign contracts with ALC II, which violated the Social Security Law.
The state securities fund is made up of Government assistance and contributions from employers, employees, the self-employed and people with insurance to be used for the payment of social security benefits as stipulated in the law.
The law stipulates the VSS is not a finance or credit organisation and is therefore not authorised to offer loans. — VNS