Vietnam's coffee royalty soap opera continues

By Thi Ha   October 4, 2018 | 11:28 pm PT
Vietnam's coffee royalty soap opera continues
Le Hoang Diep Thao has been dismissed from her position as the deputy general director of Trung Nguyen. Photo from Thao’s Facebook page
Coffee Queen says she's been blocked from entering the Trung Nguyen company, will consider filing criminal case.

Le Hoang Diep Thao, the estranged wife of the CEO of Trung Nguyen Coffee, said that she has written to HCMC authorities saying she has not been able to resume working as deputy general director of Trung Nguyen with the company obstructing her.

The HCMC People’s Court had ruled September 20 that Thao should be reinstated after striking down her dismissal by her husband and CEO, Dang Le Nguyen Vu, in 2014.

But Trung Nguyen Group issued a statement next day saying Vu had decided to dismiss Thao again for disrupting its management activities in an attempt to corner the group and Vu.

Thao said in her latest communication that despite the court’s ruling she was not allowed to enter the company’s headquarters when she reported for work.

She said she was willing to file a criminal case against Trung Nguyen for this action.

Thao was not allowed to enter Trung Nguyens headquarter. Photo from Thaos Facebook page.

Thao was not allowed to enter Trung Nguyen’s headquarters. Photo from Thao’s Facebook page.

A Trung Nguyen spokesperson told VnExpress that Vu and the company have fully complied with the court’s ruling in announcing their latest dismissal.

Thao had been appointed deputy general director in 2006.

She claimed that under her management Trung Nguyen's charter capital increased from VND150 billion ($6.5 million) to VND2.5 trillion ($108.7 million) and its revenues and profits grew significantly.

In July 2014 Vu dismissed Thao without the board of directors' approval.

He also ordered the demolition of her office and instructed staff to prevent her from entering the company's headquarters, she alleged.

Vu had prevented her from performing her rights and responsibilities as a shareholder and a board member, prompting her to file the lawsuit, she said.

In addition to this lawsuit, Thao and Vu are also involved in several other legal disputes including their divorce, management rights of Trung Nguyen Instant Coffee Company and a case filed against the head of the Business Registration Office at Binh Duong Province's Department of Planning and Investment.

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