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Banking scam trial postponed

Update: April, 17/2014 - 09:44

HA NOI (VNS)— The Ha Noi People's Court yesterday decided to postpone the trial of Nguyen Duc Kien, former vice chairman of the founding council of the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), because one of his alleged eight accomplices was absent due to poor health.

Defendant Tran Xuan Gia, the former ACB chairman, was awaiting an operation after being hospitalised with high blood pressure and an enlarged prostate, a representative from the capital's Friendship Hospital told the court.

The postponement is pursuant to Article 187, Point 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The trial opened yesterday morning.

Kien, who was born in 1964 and resides in Tay Ho District, Ha Noi, is charged with fraudulent appropriation of assets, intentional violations of the State's economic management regulations causing serious consequences, tax evasion and illegal trading.

Tran Ngoc Thanh and Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, director and chief accountant of the Hanoi ACB Investment JSC, are charged with fraudulent appropriation of assets.

The other defendants are former ACB chairman Tran Xuan Gia, former vice chairpersons Le Vu Ky and Trinh Kim Quang, former general director Ly Xuan Hai, former chairman Pham Trung Cang, and former board member Huynh Quang Tuan. They are charged with breaking economic management regulations with serious consequences.

According to indictments, from 1993, Kien owned nearly 3.8 per cent of ACB's shares. He served as ACB vice chairman from 1994-2008 and was chairman of the bank's investment council for nine years from 2003.

He is accused of using six of his own companies between May 2007 and August 2012 to conduct illegal financial and gold trading valued at more than VND21 trillion (US$1 billion) without the proper licences.

In addition, Kien allegedly swindled 20 million shares from the Hoa Phat Steel JSC worth VND264 billion ($12.4 million) in May 2012. The prosecution argues that he instructed Thanh and Yen to make a fake document at a management board meeting to defraud the company's mortgage.

Moreover, Kien and the former ACB officials also allegedly issued policies to buy stocks and invest in ACB shares, causing losses of nearly VND690 billion ($32.4 million). — VNS

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