'I do not deny my crimes': Van Thinh Phat chairwoman Truong My Lan

By Hai Duyen   April 1, 2024 | 08:56 pm PT
'I do not deny my crimes': Van Thinh Phat chairwoman Truong My Lan
Van Thinh Phat Truong My Lan seen at the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City on April 2, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Van Thinh Phat chairwoman Truong My Lan told the court at her ongoing trial that she has admitted to her crimes and not denied them as prosecutors allege.

Lan, 68, who has been described by prosecutors as "stubborn and in denial," said at the People's Court of HCMC Monday that their accusations against her did not take into account the testimonies by her and other defendants.

"I take responsibility for the wrongdoing of the board of Saigon Commercial Bank and its employees. I am aware of my influence on the board."

She only wanted the court to correctly determine her influence on the loans that her company, Van Thinh Phat, took from the bank.

Lan repeated her previous claims that she had faced many difficulties during her 10-year efforts to restructure SCB but never took money from the State Bank of Vietnam during the process.

Just when foreign investors were ready to invest money in the bank she was arrested, and that was why the restructuring failed, she claimed.

"For over 10 years my family has been lending assets to SCB. My family members have now become debtors while I face the death sentence."

Lan urged the judges to consider why she was charged with two crimes -- violating banking regulations and embezzlement -- and to reassess the losses she caused to SCB and assets she had used as collateral.

She said private appraisal company Hoang Quan had undervalued her assets by VND100 trillion (US$4 billion).

She also wanted the court to acknowledge her willingness to use her family assets to recompense SCB for the losses she had caused.

She wanted her husband and Hong Kong property tycoon Eric Chu and niece and CEO of her company Truong Hue Van to be acquitted, and SCB employees to be shown leniency.

Prosecutors said Monday morning that Lan had never let SCB borrow her assets but only used them to get loans.

At the ongoing trial prosecutors have recommended the death sentence for Lan for committing severe crimes over a long period and causing irrevocable consequences.

From 2012 to 2022 Lan and her accomplices obtained 2,500 loans worth more than VND1 quadrillion ($44 billion), accounting for 93% of the bank’s loan portfolio during the period.

She is accused of causing losses of VND498 trillion.

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