Asset recovery in civil lawsuits, particularly those relating to major economic corruption, remains low as authorities have found it difficult to verify the financial status of defendants. — Photo daibieunhandan.vn
HÀ NỘI — Asset recovery in civil lawsuits, particularly those relating to major economic corruption, remains low as authorities have found it difficult to verify the financial status of defendants, said Lê Quang Tiến, head of Hà Nội’s Department of Civil Judgment Enforcement.
This was just one of the difficulties that civil judgment enforcement bodies faced when executing court rulings, Tiến said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Hà Nội’s Department of Civil Judgment Enforcement was concentrating on ten major economic corruption cases in which defendants must return over VNĐ269 billion (US$12 million).
“The assets that need to be recovered are huge, but the authorities have not been able to confirm if the defendants have sufficient funds to pay or not,” he said.
“In some cases, their assets are far below the sums they have to return, or the asset is shared with other parties.”
In May 2014, the People’s Supreme Court sentenced Dương Chí Dũng, the former chairman of State-owned Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) and Mai Văn Phúc, its former general director, to death for embezzling VNĐ10 billion ($474,000) each.
The defendants falsified the technical specifications of a 43-year-old, non-functional floating dock and overpaid for it, causing losses of about VNĐ367 billion ($16.2 million) for the State, according to the indictment.
Dũng was also ordered to compensate Vinalines VNĐ110 billion, including VNĐ10 billion for embezzlement and VNĐ100 billion for “intentionally violating State regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences.”
However, up until now, relevant agencies have only been able to confiscate Dũng’s “visible” assets, announcing that he was financially unable to pay any more compensation.
Referring to the Law on Civil Judgment Enforcement 2014, the enforcing body said that Dũng did not meet the conditions for the court’s ruling to be executed.
“Only when Dũng is confirmed to have other assets can we continue executing the court’s ruling,” Tiến said, implying that an amount of about VNĐ88.5 billion remains outstanding.
Trần Hữu Chiều, the former deputy general director was also found guilty on the same counts. Chiều was sentenced to 19 years in jail and must pay compensation of VNĐ39.16 billion, but as of now still owes VNĐ38.4 billion.
Bùi Thị Bích Loan, another defendant in the Vinalines case, was ordered to compensate Vinalines VNĐ6 billion, but was found to own no assets and is currently receiving treatment for cancer in hospital.
Two months ago, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc signed Directive 05/CT-TTg on enhancing civil judgment enforcement. Accordingly, he directed authorities to uncover the assets of suspects in corruption cases in order to prevent them from being hidden and to help in executing judgments against the accused.
The Ministry of Public Security is asked to direct the nation’s investigative agencies to locate the assets and ensure the execution of judgments in crucial and complicated cases related to credit, banking and corruption.
The State Bank of Việt Nam was assigned to direct credit organisations to strictly assess clients’ property before lending them money and to closely co-ordinate with civil enforcement bodies on cases related to credit and banking. — VNS