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Former Đông Á Bank director sentenced to life in prison

Update: December, 20/2018 - 16:42
The HCM City People’s Court on Thursday handed down sentences to defendants involving in the case of Đông Á Bank. — VNA/VNS Photo Thành Chung
Viet Nam News

HCM CITY — The HCM City People’s Court on Thursday sentenced Trần Phương Bình, former general director and vice chairman of Đông Á Bank’s (DAB) management board, to life in jail on the charges of “abusing power to appropriate assets”, and to 20 years in prison for “intentionally violating regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences”.

The court said he must pay 27,000 taels of gold (US$38 million) and VNĐ1.5 trillion to the bank ($66 million) in compensation for its losses.

Phan Văn Anh Vũ (also known as Vũ Nhôm), former chairman of the Đà Nẵng-based Bắc Nam 79 Construction Joint-Stock Company, was sentenced to 17 years in jail for “abusing power to appropriate assets”.

On July 30, the Hà Nội People’s Court sentenced Vũ to eight years in prison for “deliberately disclosing State secrets” under Article 337 of the 2015 Penal Code, for tax evasion, abuse of power and violations of State regulations on management and use of State assets, resulting in serious losses and waste.

Vũ, whose full prison sentence will be 25 years, has already paid VNĐ203 billion ($9 million) to the bank in compensation for its losses.

Bình and Vũ also must pay an additional VNĐ52 billion ($2.3 million) to the bank on charges of “indirect responsibility” .

Another defendant, Nguyễn Thị Kim Xuyến, former deputy general director of DAB, was sentenced to 20 years in jail for “abusing power to appropriate assets” and to 18 years in jail for “intentionally violating regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences”.

On the two charges, Xuyến’s total prison sentence will be 30 years. She must pay VNĐ34 billion ($1.5 million) to the bank in compensation for its losses.

Another 23 defendants received sentences ranging from two years to 17 years, including probation for some.

Investigators discovered that Bình, who was also chairman of DAB’s credit council, owned 10.25 per cent of the bank’s charter capital, and 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, they said.

According to the indictment, Bình directed all activities of funding and investment at DAB and abused his power to appropriate property, causing a loss of VNĐ3.6 trillion ($160 million).

The indictment said that DAB’s accumulated losses totalled VNĐ31 trillion ($1.37 billion), while equity capital was a negative VNĐ25.5 trillion ($1.12 billion).

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 was 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 was also charged with “intentionally violating regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences” for his directions to spend VNĐ467 billion ($20.6 million) on interest payments, VNĐ85 billion ($3.75 million) on 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) to DAB while raising the bank’s charter capital from VNĐ5 trillion ($220.3 million) to VNĐ6 trillion ($264.3 million).

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.

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 sum 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. — VNS

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