Police arrest MobiFone’s deputy general director, former general director

Update: November, 14/2018 - 15:53
Hải (left) and Anh were arrested on Wednesday morning for violating rules regulating the use of State capital. — Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Public Security
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — On Wednesday morning, the Ministry of Public Security arrested Cao Duy Hải, former general director of the State-owned MobiFone Telecommunications Corporation, the third largest telecom firm in Việt Nam, and Phạm Thị Phương Anh, deputy general director of the company.

The two were arrested for violating regulations on managing and using public investment capital, under the 2015 Penal Code.

On August 21, The Ministry of Information and Communications (MIC) announced that Hải was relieved from his positions as general director of MobiFone and as a member of the company’s Member Council.

The Party Central Committee’s Inspection Commission said Hải, 57, committed many serious violations by consulting the council to submit to the MIC to approve and implement MobiFone’s purchase of a 95 per cent share in the private AVG Audiovisual Joint Stock Company. He was also accused of directly signing many documents related to the project in contradiction to regulations.

The commission said Hải’s violations were very serious, resulting in a big loss of State assets, negatively impacting MobiFone’s equitisation process and hurting the prestige of the ministry.

It also removed all of Hải’s positions in the Party.

Anh was disciplined in August for participating in negotiations with AVG shareholders.

Anh made a contract to transfer shares with AVG shareholders, without carefully checking the legal status of those shareholders, leading to property damage to MobiFone.

Previously, the commission also disciplined Lê Nam Trà, Chairman of the company’s Members’ Council, and Phạm Đình Trọng, head of Enterprise Management Department under the MIC, by removing them from the Party. 

On July 10, the Ministry of Public Security took Trà and Trọng into custody for violating regulations on managing and using public investment capital.

MobiFone announced in January 2016 that it had bought 95 per cent of AVG’s shares.

According to the company’s financial statements for 2015 and the first six months of 2016, MobiFone paid about VNĐ8.9 trillion (US$390 million) to buy the shares.

Soon after that the Government Inspectorate discovered that AVG was incurring losses after the acquisition. The irregularities and the irresponsibility of MobiFone cost the State some VNĐ7 trillion ($301 million), including AVG’s liabilities of VNĐ1.13 trillion ($48.6 million).

On March 12, 2018,  AVG’s shareholder group and MobiFone’s Board of Directors terminated the contract and decided MobiFone would return AVG’s shares to the group of shareholders. The shareholders would refund the full amount that MobiFone paid, plus interest and related expenses. —VNS