Phan Văn Anh Vũ (blue shirt) former chairman of Đà Nẵng-based Bắc Nam 79 Construction Joint-Stock Co at the court yesterday. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Chung
HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Court yesterday opened the first-instance trial on losses incurred by Đông Á Bank (DAB) caused by defendants’ “abusing power to appropriate assets”, “intentionally violating regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences” and showing “lack of responsibility, causing serious consequences”.
Twenty-six defendants, including Trần Phương Bình, former general director and vice chairman of DAB’s management board, and Phan Văn Anh Vũ (alias Vũ Nhôm), former chairman of Đà Nẵng-based Bắc Nam 79 Construction Joint-Stock Co, are charged in the case.
As many as 27 organisations and 306 individuals with rights and obligations relevant to the high-profile court case, along with 50 lawyers, were present at the court.
Investigators discovered that Bình, who was also chairman of DAB’s credit council, owned 10.25 per cent of the bank’s charter capital, while his family members held a further 7.7 per cent.
He was also in charge of the bank’s budget and investment division at the time.
According to the indictment, Bình directed all activities of funding and investment at DAB and abused power to appropriate property, causing a loss of VNĐ3.6 trillion (US$160 million).
The indictment said that DAB’s accumulated losses were VNĐ31 trillion ($1.37 billion) and equity capital was a negative VNĐ25.5 trillion ($1.12 billion), while total assets at the time of the violations were only VNĐ47 trillion ($2.1 billion). Bình’s violations were responsible for the losses, the indictment said.
Bình is charged with “abusing power to appropriate property” for directing DAB officers to spend VNĐ1.16 trillion ($51.1 million) to acquire the bank’s shares.
He also changed VNĐ294 billion to $13.9 million without proper documentation to later use for personal purposes, and used an additional VNĐ309 billion ($13.6 million) for personal purposes.
Bình is also charged with “intentionally violating regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences” for his directions to spend VNĐ467 billion ($20.6 million) for interest payments, VNĐ85 billion ($3.75 million) for loan settlements, and VNĐ49 billion ($2.16 million) for personal purposes.
He also illegally directed spending in gold and foreign currency, causing a loss of VNĐ1.6 trillion ($70.5 million).
The investigators concluded that Bình caused a loss of VNĐ200 billion ($8.8 million) for DAB while raising the bank’s charter capital from VNĐ5 trillion ($220.3 million) to VNĐ6 trillion ($264.3 million).
During the investigation, Bình returned VNĐ4 billion ($180.000) to authorised agencies.
Another defendant, Nguyễn Thị Kim Xuyến, former deputy general director of DAB, used virtual companies and individuals to help Bình withdraw VNĐ467 billion ($20.6 million) for the acquisition of DAB shares, according to the indictment.
She also appropriated VNĐ40 billion ($1.8 million) from the bank.
She is charged with “abusing power to appropriate property” and “intentionally violating regulations on economic management.”
In addition, Phan Văn Anh Vũ was complicit in Bình’s crimes by buying 60 million DAB shares with total value of VNĐ600 billion ($26.4 million), the indictment said.
Vũ mortgaged his land in Đà Nẵng City to collect VNĐ400 billion ($17.6 million) from DAB, and then used this to purchase DAB stocks.
The remaining amount was paid by the bank per Bình’s instructions, after which Vũ signed fake documents showing that he had paid VNĐ200 billion ($8.8 million) to DAB.
This was the fourth criminal case in which Vũ has been involved since his capture on the run in Singapore in January.
In July, he was sentenced to nine years in prison for disclosing State secrets. Other investigations of Vũ’s tax evasion and role in public land management incidents are ongoing.
During the investigation, Vũ returned VNĐ173 billion ($7.7 million).
Sixteen DAB officers who followed Bình and Xuyến’s orders face charges of deliberate breaches of law, causing serious consequences.
The other defendants include six borrowers from the bank who were allegedly involved in the case.
The trial will run until December 25. — VNS