Real estate developer FLC's accountant arrested

By Pham Du   April 4, 2022 | 06:54 am PT
Real estate developer FLC's accountant arrested
Officials confisticate documents at FLC's former chairman Trinh Van Quyet's private property in Hanoi on March 29, 2022. Photo by VnExpress/Pham Chieu
Trinh Thi Minh Hue, an accountant with real estate developer FLC, has been arrested for allegedly helping her brother Trinh Van Quyet to manipulate the stock market.

Hue has been detained pending investigation into Quyet's role in stock market manipulation, Lieutenant General To An Xo, Chief of Office and spokesman for the Ministry of Public Security, said Monday.

This is the latest development as the ministry looks into alleged stock market manipulation and information concealment by the FLC group.

The group's chairman Quyet was the first person arrested in the case.

According to the ministry's investigators, the alleged violations by these individuals have caused significant harm to investors and hampered Vietnam's stock market operations.

The group has issued a statement, saying Quyet's "personal actions" in the securities purchase and sales transactions will not influence FLC's business and production.

Dang Tat Thang, Vice President of FLC and Bamboo Airways, has replaced Quyet as chairman of both FLC and its subsidiary Bamboo Airways.

The case that led to the investigation of Quyet and others began on the afternoon of January 10, when Quyet sold 74.8 million FLC shares, but the State Securities Commission of Vietnam (SSC) only received notice of the sale by the evening of that day though regulations require a notification three working days in advance.

On January 11, the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HoSE) issued a notice cancelling the transaction, an unprecedented move in the Vietnamese stock market. Many investors have their investment refunded.

Quyet was fined VND1.5 billion ($65,800) by SCC on January 17, the highest level under current securities regulations, and his trading was suspended for five months.

It was the second time that Quyet was fined by the SSC for the same offense. In November 2017, he was fined VND65 million for selling 57 million FLC shares without proper notice.

Following the aforementioned violations, the Communist Party’s top watchdog determined March 31 that leaders of the Hanoi and HCMC stock exchanges have to be held to account for violations by stocks and securities entities.

The Party Committee of the State Securities Commission (SSC) for the 2015-2020 is also guilty of several violations including negligence and lack of monitoring that allowed certain individuals to manipulate the stock market, the Communist Party Central Inspection Committee said.

Nguyen Thanh Long, secretary of the Party Committee of the Hanoi Stock Exchange, Le Hai Tra, secretary of the Party Committee of the HCMC Stock Exchange, Tran Van Dung, chairman of the SSC, Vu Bang, former chairman of the SSC, and Nguyen Son, chairman of the management board of the Vietnam Securities Depository (VSD), are all accountable for violations at the Party Committee of the SSC, the Hanoi and HCMC stock exchanges and the VSD, the committee said.

Quyet began his career as a lawyer in 2001, when he and his associates established the SMiC Law Office, which later became the SMiC Law Firm. He also established a number of businesses and the FLC brand was formed in early 2010 after merging all of them.

FLC's charter capital stood at VND10.5 trillion (over $459 million) in early 2021, after more than 10 years of operation.

As of January 2022, the FLC chairman owned over 215 million FLC shares, equivalent to approximately 30 percent, as well as tens of millions of stocks in related companies like ROS.

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