Trần Trọng Mừng, former Director General of TISCO appeared in court on Thursday. —VNA/VNS Photo
HÀ NỘI — Three men jailed for their part in wrongdoings at Thái Nguyên Iron and Steel JSC (TISCO) have had their sentences reduced.
Đậu Văn Hùng, former General Director of Vietnam Steel Corporation, and Hoàng Ngọc Diệp, former member of the Board of Directors of TISCO were jailed for three years and two years respectively.
Both have now had those jail terms suspended after all monies obtained illegally was repaid.
Uông Sỹ Bính, former deputy head of the accounting and finance division at TISCO has had his two-year sentence cut to 18 months due to his age and health problems.
The High-level People’s Court in Hà Nội on Thursday also upheld the rulings of the previous trial for the nine others, including Trần Trọng Mừng, former Director General of TISCO, who was sentenced to nine years and six months behind bars.
The eight other defendants were jailed for between 18 months and seven years, for “violating regulations on management and use of State assets causing losses and wastefulness” and “lacking responsibility causing serious consequences.”
According to the indictment issued by the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the Vietnam Steel Corporation's Board of Directors decided to invest in the second phase of TISCO’s production expansion project which initially had total investment of more than VNĐ3.8 trillion (US$164.9 million at the current exchange rate). The China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) won the construction bid in 2007.
On July 12, 2007, then TISCO General Director Mừng and MCC General Director Shen Heting signed an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract worth over $160 million. It was stipulated that the value, including taxes and expenses necessary for contract implementation, were not to change during the implementation process.
TISCO and MCC launched implementation on September 29, 2007. However, more than 11 months after the contract took effect, MCC had failed to select or sign contracts with subcontractors, or carry out the EPC contract. Instead, it proposed extending the contract implementation duration and raising the contract value by more than $138 million.
The indictment said that although individuals at TISCO and the Vietnam Steel Corporation were aware that MCC had infringed the contract and groundlessly proposed the implementation extension and value hike, they did not consider contract termination, revocation of the advance, or reporting the matter to competent persons to abolish the bidding result and re-organise the bidding process so as to ensure the project’s effectiveness and progress.
Among the defendants, Mừng held the overall responsibility for the project’s effectiveness while Tinh was in charge of approving and directing project implementation.
The Supreme People’s Procuracy held that the violations of rules on the management of State assets and the lack of a sense of responsibility by those at TISCO and the Vietnam Steel Corporation caused losses of over VNĐ830 billion to the State. The sum is the interest rate TISCO had to pay to banks for the period from the time the project began falling behind schedule, on May 31, 2011, to the date an official investigation was launched, on April 18, 2019.
The defendants’ criminal acts not only adversely affected economic development and had a direct negative impact on production and business activities and the interests of employees at TISCO, they also indirectly affected the process of promoting rapid and sustainable economic development, becoming a burden on the national economy and causing a loss of trust in society. — VNS