Viet Nam News
HCM City -- The HCM City People’s Court yesterday sentenced Đặng Thanh Bình, former deputy governor of the State Bank of Việt Nam, to three years in prison on the charge of “lacking responsibility and causing serious consequences”.
The trial, which began last week, was 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 was charged for involvement 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 Việt Nam (SBV) at the VNCB, faced the same charges as Bình and received from one to 2.5 years in jail.
According to the court, Hà Tấn Phước’s irresponsibility caused losses of nearly VNĐ3.5 trillion; Lê Văn Thanh, VNĐ6.6 trillion; Phạm Thế Tuân, VNĐ3.5 trillion; and Ngô Văn Thanh, VNĐ10.5 trillion.
“The defendants’ actions were dangerous for society,” the court said.
The People’s Procuracy last week had proposed a four- to five-year prison sentence for Bình, and a two- to three and a half year sentence for the four other defendants.
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.
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, 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. — VNS