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Banking & Finance

Former VNCB officials to stand trial

Released at: 11:40, 07/07/2016

Former VNCB officials to stand trial

Photo: VNCB

Trial of former bank Chairman and 35 senior officials on corruption charges to begin on July 19 and last one month.

by Duy Anh

Mr. Pham Cong Danh and 35 former Vietnam Construction Bank (VNCB) officials will go on trial from July 19 to August 18, according to the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court.

Mr. Danh, the former Chairman of VNCB’s Board of Directors and former Chairman of the Board of Members and General Director of the Ho Chi Minh City-based Thien Thanh Group, allegedly directed his staff to set up files to withdraw VND12 trillion ($528 million) from VNCB for private purposes. He and his accomplices caused total losses of over VND9 trillion ($396 million) for the bank.

Apart from the Thien Thanh Group, Mr. Danh also established 29 other companies and asked relatives and acquaintances to act as company directors and to also purchase VNCB shares in order to gain control..

In 2012 the State Bank of Vietnam restructured Trust Bank and re-branded it into VNCB. Twenty investors were allowed to participate, mostly companies founded by Mr. Danh or his relatives, according to investigators. Mr. Danh ended up controlling more than 84 per cent of the bank’s shares.

From June 2013 to March 2014 he allegedly colluded with other executives in faking documents in the Core Banking system to take VND63.3 trillion ($2.88 million) from its budget, supposedly for funding system upgrades and new office projects.

From December 2012 to March 2014 he also founded a dozen subsidiaries under the Thien Thanh Group name to take out loans from the bank, using assets that had already been put down as collateral for loans from other banks. The value of the assets was stated at more than VND2 trillion ($88 million), which was inflated and could not be recovered.

Mr. Danh was caught in July 2014 for “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences”, “violating lending regulations of credit institutions”, and “a lack of responsibility, causing serious consequences,” according to then SBV Governor Nguyen Van Binh.

Trust Bank was in operation for 23 years, with charter capital of VND3 trillion ($142.85 million). In late 2014 the SBV appointed new officials to VNCB after former senior executives were arrested for allegedly violating State regulations.

In March 2015 the SBV acquired all equity in VNCB at a price of 0VND per share. “The acquisition is compulsory to restore VNCB’s payment abilities in line with general efforts to create a healthier banking system,” Mr. Binh said at the time.

Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who is head of the Central Steering Committee for Corruption Prevention and Control, said in the Committee’s review meeting on June 30 that the settlement of the case must follow legal regulations and not be influenced by any organizations and individuals, to ensure that justice is done. He asked that efforts be concentrated on dealing with extremely important economic and corruption cases of special public concern.

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