How property tycoon Truong My Lan laundered $17.5B

By Viet Tuan   June 9, 2024 | 08:36 pm PT
How property tycoon Truong My Lan laundered $17.5B
Van Thinh Phat chairwoman Truong My Lan seen at the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City in April 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Truong My Lan, chairwoman of property developer Van Thinh Phat, laundered VND446 trillion (US$17.5 billion) by transferring money to shell companies, according to the police.

Between 2018 and 2022 she misappropriated VND416 trillion from Saigon Commercial Bank by obtaining loans in Van Thinh Phat companies' names and VND30 trillion through bond issuances and used various methods to launder the money, the Ministry of Public Security said following its latest investigation.

The money she obtained from SCB was transferred to 483 individuals and 450 legal entities.

Individuals often received the money as "loans" but were not required to repay them.

Lan used the loans to repay earlier loans obtained by Van Thinh Phat from SCB or from the company’s subsidiaries, develop projects, buy U.S. dollars, and keep as backup.

She also transferred VND32 trillion overseas.

Some of her accomplices were Nguyen Phuong Hong, deputy CEO and a director of SCB; Truong Khanh Hoang, acting CEO; and Nguyen Phuong Anh, deputy general director of Saigon Peninsula Corporation.

Her husband Eric Chu was also an accomplice. Between 2018 and 2022 Lan ordered her staff to pay VND225 billion to his credit cards at SCB.

He used VND33 billion to pay for jewelry and services for himself and his wife in Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, France, the U.K., and Italy.

Last week the police recommended fresh charges against Lan of fraudulent appropriation of assets, money laundering and illegal cross-border currency trafficking.

Thirty three others are set to face similar charges.

Lan has already been given the death penalty for causing a loss of VND677 trillion ($27 billion) to SCB, a sentence she has appealed.

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