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Ex-Vinalines officials get 15-22 year prison sentences

Update: November, 14/2014 - 08:53

KHANH HOA (VNS) — The People's Court in the central province of Khanh Hoa yesterday sentenced four people to prison terms of 15 to 22 years in the corruption case involving repairs to floating dock 83M belonging to Viet Nam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines).

The sentences were awarded after a three-day trial.

The case, part of one of the biggest corruption scandals in recent years, relates to the purchase and repair of 83M, whose initial cost was pegged at US$14.13 million and later boosted to $24.3 million. Originally built in 1965, the dock did not meet licensing or registration requirements and had been unsuitable for use for years.

At yesterday's trial, Tran Hai Son, former Director of Vinalines Ship Repair Co. Ltd, was sentenced to 22 years in prison while his accomplices, Tran Van Quang, former deputy head of the company's market planning department, Tran Ba Hung, an officer at Hyundai Vinashin Shipyard, and Pham Ba Giap, former director of the Nguyen An Company, received 18, 17 and 15 year sentences, respectively.

Son, who had received another 22-year sentence in the trial relating to purchase of the floating dock in May, faces 30 years in prison based on the Penal Code's provisions on penalties in cases where more than one crime is committed.

According to the indictment, when asked to report on the floating dock, Son and Quang colluded with Hung and Giap to increase the repair fees and appropriate VND3.4 billion ($160,000) for themselves. They were arrested in May 2012 and charged with "especially dangerous violations causing public concern and losses for State-owned properties."

During the investigation, the police seized VND1.2 billion ($57,000) in cash from the accused. Besides serving their sentences, the four former officials have also been ordered to return the illegally appropriated money. — VNS

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