Auto firm exec arrested for suspected embezzlement

By Phuong Son   January 18, 2020 | 07:13 am PT
Nguyen Duc Toan, deputy director of VEAM Motor, a subsidiary of state-owned agricultural machinery manufacturer VEAM, has been arrested for alleged embezzlement.

An arrest and search warrant on suspicion of embezzlement was issued and executed Thursday against Toan and Tran Thi Thanh Tam, a subordinate official at automobile maker VEAM Motor in the central province of Thanh Hoa.

Nguyen Duc Toan

Nguyen Duc Toan, deputy director of VEAM Motor, was arrested on January 16, 2019 for suspected embezzlement.

Police said they searched the residence and offices of both suspects and seized some documents and items, but did not provide further details.

The scope of the embezzlement investigation, which was begun last October, has been expanded and efforts are on to trace misappropriated assets.

VEAM Motor was built by Vietnam Engine and Agricultural Machinery Corporation (VEAM), under the Ministry of Industry and Trade, in 2008. The factory, which has an annual capacity of 33,000 vehicles, was built at a cost of around VND680 billion ($29.3 million).

In May 2019, the Inspectorate of the industry ministry had found "many violations in the organization of personnel, use of capital, handling of assets and debts, causing loss and waste of state assets" at VEAM.

Specifically, the agency had found that the management and use of capital at some of VEAM’s units had led to VEAM Motor losing VND331 billion ($14.26 million) worth of equity between 2010 and 2018.

The ministry, which owns nearly 89 percent of VEAM, ordered the corporation to carry out internal investigation of these violations, but also transferred a few cases to the Ministry of Public Security to investigate.

The police has since arrested a number of former VEAM executives including former chairman and former general director Tran Ngoc Ha and former general director Lam Chi Quang on charges of violating regulations on the management and use of state assets, causing losses and squandering state assets.

Ha, for instance, was found to have acted outside his power by buying car components exceeding production plans and without the approval of VEAM’s board, and appointing officials in contravention of regulations.

VEAM is the Vietnamese joint venture partner in Toyota Vietnam, Honda Vietnam and Ford Vietnam.

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