|Defendant Trần Văn Liêm at the court hearing. — VNA/VNS Photo Doãn Tấn|
HÀ NỘI — The Hà Nội’s People’s Court on Thursday began a four-day first-instance court hearing in the Vinashin Ocean Shipping Company Ltd (Vinashinlines) embezzlement case.
This is one of the major corruption and economic-rule-violating cases that were ordered to be brought to trial as soon as possible by the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption.
As per Article 278 of the Penal Code, the defendants charged with embezzlement are former director general of Vinashinlines Trần Văn Liêm, 62; former chief accountant Trần Văn Khương, 66; and former sales manager Giang Kim Đạt, 37.
Đạt’s father, Giang Văn Hiển, 67, faces charges of money laundering as per Article 251 of the Penal Code.
According to the indictment, from July 2006 to March 2007, as director general of the company, Liêm signed contracts to buy three foreign ships, Vinashin Summer, Vinashin Island and Vinashin Phoenix, and authorised Đạt to negotiate with the foreign partners.
Liêm, Đạt and Khương conspired with ship owners to rig prices and earn profits, pocketing around VNĐ249 billion (US$11.06 million) from May 2006 to June 2008.
Đạt received a commission of between 2 and 3.75 per cent of the total contract value for each transaction, which was transferred to a bank account in Hiển’s name, investigators said.
In total, the trio “abused position and power” and misappropriated around VNĐ260 billion ($11.56 million), the indictment said. Liêm misappropriated VNĐ3.1 billion ($138,000), while Đạt and Khương embezzled around VNĐ255 billion ($11.34 million) and $110,000, respectively.
The police found that after money was transferred to his bank account, Hiển withdrew money for Đạt to buy some 40 villas and luxury apartments as well as 13 cars in his or his relatives’ names.
The first-instance trial is set to last four days. — VNS