|The trial of Đặng Thanh Bình, former deputy governor of the State Bank of Việt Nam, who is charged with “lacking responsibility and causing serious consequences” began yesterday at the HCM City’s People’s Court.— Photo vietnamnet.vn|
HCM CITY — The trial of Đặng Thanh Bình, former deputy governor of the State Bank of Việt Nam, who is charged with “lacking responsibility and causing serious consequences” began yesterday at the HCM City’s People’s Court.
Bình’s trial is connected to Phạm Công Danh, former chairman of the Việt Nam Construction Bank (VNCB), who has been found guilty for illegally withdrawing more than VNĐ9 trillion (US$402 million), the biggest-such loss ever uncovered in the country’s banking sector. He was sentenced last year to 30 years in prison.
Danh was chair of VNCB’s board of directors and board of members, as well as general director of the Thiên Thanh Group.
Bình is charged for his involvement in the "grand scheme" of Phạm Công Danh and his accomplices, and for failing to oversee fraudulent transactions undertaken by Danh and his accomplices that caused $402 million in losses for VNCB.
Bình set up a monitoring team at VNCB consisting of Hà Tấn Phước, Lê Văn Thanh, Phạm Thế Tuân and Ngô Văn Thanh, who have all been charged with “failure to fulfil their tasks and helping Danh and his accomplices commit violations”.
According to the court, Phước’s irresponsibility caused losses of nearly VNĐ3.5 trillion; Lê Văn Thanh caused losses of some VNĐ6.6 trillion; Tuấn, VNĐ3.5 trillion; and Ngô Văn Thanh, VNĐ10.5 trillion.
Thirteen lawyers at the trial are representing the five defendants.
Fourteen other people who have connections to the case have also been asked to appear in court.
According to the indictment, Bình took charge of the State Bank of Việt Nam’s legislative department whose primary responsibility was helping the governor implement a restructuring plan for six weak lenders, including VNCB.
In August 2012, Bình signed and submitted a VNCB restructuring plan to the government and received in-principle approval from the State Bank of Việt Nam.
Bình proposed in the restructuring plan that VNCB be classified as a weak credit institution so the transfer of its stake from a group of former shareholders to an investment group led by Danh could be thoroughly investigated.
Bình also signed a decision to form a monitoring team or “supervisory panel” for VNCB, but eventually acted against his own proposal by applying no scrutiny to Danh and his fellow shareholders.
This enabled Danh and the shareholders to take over VNCB with ease and use the bank as a means for economic crimes.
As of July 2014, when legal proceedings were launched against Danh and his accomplices, VNCB held negative equity of VNĐ18 trillion ($793 million), fourfold the amount before restructuring, complete with debts totalling more than VNĐ38 trillion ($1.67 billion).
Bình, who has 25 years of experience in the banking industry, served as deputy governor of the State Bank of Việt Nam from 2005 until he retired in August 2015.
The trial is expected to end on June 29. — VNS