Van Thinh Phat chairwoman Truong My Lan never lent assets to SCB: prosecutors

By Hai Duyen   April 1, 2024 | 06:55 pm PT
Van Thinh Phat chairwoman Truong My Lan never lent assets to SCB: prosecutors
Truong My Lan, chairwoman of Van Thinh Phat, seen at the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City on March 8, 2024. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
Prosecutors said Truong My Lan had been perjurious in claiming she let Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) borrow her assets when she merely used them to get loans from it.

While the Van Thinh Phat chairwoman and her lawyers had been arguing that she had lent SCB many high-value assets to help its restructure, and that she had lost all of them, prosecutors told the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City on Monday that these claims were false.

All documents from SCB and the State Bank of Vietnam showed that Lan never let SCB borrow her assets but only "used tricks" to place the assets with the bank so that she could get new loans, which she had used to pay her and Van Thinh Phat’s debts from before the merger of SCB, De Nhat (Ficombank) and TinNghiaBank.

Statements by former SCB chiefs had also confirmed that Lan and Van Thinh Phat had debts in the three banks before they were merged.

She had placed five assets as collateral with SCB for its debts, but taken advantage of that to make the management believe she was the bank’s "guardian" and obtain new loans, and never repaid the old debts.

She had used the money appropriated from the bank to invest in property projects.

"She used SCB as a financial instrument and vault. Whenever she needed cash she would order her subordinates to take loans from it."

A clear example of this was the withdrawal of VND109 trillion and $14.7 million in cash, which was delivered to her house.

Lan and her lawyers had earlier argued that the losses that prosecutors accused her of causing were higher than the actual amount because of incorrect valuation by private appraisal company Hoang Quan.

Prosecutors, however, said that the losses were calculated not by Hoang Quan’s valuation but by other methods of investigation that used data from SCB, independent auditors, defendants’ testimonies, and other evidence.

Lan was the mastermind behind the scheme to steal from SCB and had total control over the bank, they said.

Documents of share ownership collected from Lan’s office and statements by many people had established that she owned 91.5% of the bank and had been behind all major decisions related to share transfers.

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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