Đặng Thanh Bình. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Chung
HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Procuracy today proposed a four to five-year prison sentence for Đặng Thanh Bình, former deputy governor of the State Bank of Việt Nam (SBV), who has been charged with “lacking responsibility and causing serious consequences”.
The trial, which began earlier this week, is related to the case of Phạm Công Danh, former chairman of the Việt Nam Construction Bank (VNCB), who was found guilty last year 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 to 30 years in prison.
Bình is charged with being involved in the "grand scheme" of 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.
Four other defendants, who are former members of the monitoring team set up by the State Bank of Viet Nam (SBV) at the VNCB, face the same charges as Bình.
The prosecution has proposed a two- to three and a half year sentence for Hà Tấn Phước, Lê Văn Thanh, Phạm Thế Tuân and Ngô Văn Thanh.
According to the indictment, Bình took charge of SBV’s legislative department whose primary responsibility was helping the governor implement a restructuring plan for six weak lenders, including VNCB.
In August 2012, he signed and submitted a VNCB restructuring plan to the government and received in-principle approval from the SBV.
Bình proposed in the restructuring plan that VNCB should 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.
He 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. — VNS