How 8 customers lost $13.6M deposited at lender MSB

By Viet Tuan   April 7, 2024 | 09:08 pm PT
How 8 customers lost $13.6M deposited at lender MSB
The logo of Vietnam Maritime Commercial Joint Stock Bank (MSB). Photo courtesy of MSB
Eight customers who deposited VND338 billion (US$13.63 million) in the Vietnam Maritime Commercial Joint Stock Bank in the last two years have found their money has disappeared.

In early 2021 Bui Thi Hoai Anh, 40, director of MSB’s Thanh Xuan branch in Hanoi, and two of her subordinates met Nguyen Thi Lan, 58, and convinced her to deposit money for a term of 1-4 weeks at an interest rate of 6%.

Lan said Anh had told her the account would be "managed by the bank" and so could not be accessed on mobile applications.

She had to call Anh directly when she wanted to deposit more or withdraw money, she said.

Besides, to make a withdrawal, she had to inform the bank at least a day in advance.

When she made a deposit for the first time, the name on the account was indeed hers and the principal and interest were paid fully.

She also received documents signed by Anh and with the bank’s stamp after every transaction, and so she fully trusted the woman.

She said: "Trusting [Anh] and seeing that the interest rates were higher than other banks, I continued to deposit money into the account. I even mortgaged my house to put more money into it."

Relatives and acquaintances also gave her money to deposit on their behalf.

She received her money correctly until last May.

After that she made dozens of deposits more, but the payments dried up.

A document confirming Lans account information and balance. Photo courtesy of Lan

A document confirming Lan's account information and balance. Photo courtesy of Lan

In October 2023 she received a call from the Hanoi police informing her that Anh had been arrested and her money was lost.

By this time she had deposited a total of VND58.6 billion in the account.

When Lan visited the bank in person a day later to obtain a bank statement, she discovered her account only had VND93,000.

Another woman reported depositing VND32.2 billion in the bank at the end of 2023 at Anh’s instance.

She withdrew VND4.5 billion before the account was emptied.

Around VND10 billion of the money came from friends and relatives, she said.

Both victims said the bank has to pay them their money since the documents they received had been marked with its stamp.

Anh was arrested on March 28 as part of an investigation into accusations that she stole VND338 billion from eight customers.

Bui Thi Hoai Anh. Photo courtesy of Hanoi police

Bui Thi Hoai Anh. Photo courtesy of Hanoi police

Authorities have yet to reveal who else was involved with her, and are instead focusing on recovering the victims’ money.

MSB said during an earlier routine audit of the Thanh Xuan branch, officials had discovered certain employees displaying "abnormal signs with a group of customers" and reported it to the police.

It has not said anything about who would be responsible for the customers’ missing money.

go to top