2 executives get death sentence in Vietnam’s major shipping scandal

By Viet Dung   February 22, 2017 | 04:08 am PT
2 executives get death sentence in Vietnam’s major shipping scandal
Vinashinlines' former executives at the trial in Hanoi. Photo by VnExpress
The scandal is among Vietnam's six corruption and mismanagement cases to be brought to trial by March 2017.

Two former executives of a Vietnamese state-owned shipping giant have been sentenced to death while another got life imprisonment after a court in Hanoi found them guilty of misappropriating nearly $12 million from the company.

Tran Van Liem, former CEO of Vinashin Ocean Shipping Co. Ltd. (Vinashinlines), and Giang Kim Dat, its former sales manager, received the death sentence on embezzlement charges, according to the verdict delivered by the Hanoi People's Court Wednesday.

Vinashinlines former chief accountant Tran Van Khuong was sentenced to life in jail.

The three former executives were accused of abusing power to steal more than VND260 billion ($11.65 million) from the company between 2006 and 2008, a case the court considered “especially serious.”

According to the indictment, Dat stole the money from 16 deals to buy or lease old vessels, before sharing some with the others.

Investigators found that he had advised Liem to buy and lease ships and colluded with foreign partners to rig prices for personal profits.

The money was transferred to multiple bank accounts in his father’s name, who later used it to buy many houses and cars. Giang Van Hien, Dat's father, was sentenced to 12 years in jail at the Wednesday trial for money laundering.

Dat was arrested in July 2015 after he fled an arrest warrant in 2012.

According to the investigation, Liem was paid $150,000 and Khuong $110,000 in the scam.

Liem has been serving a 19-year jail term after being convicted of “deliberately violating state regulations on economic management” at shipbuilding company Vinashin, Vinashinlines' parent firm, in 2012. He was also a Vinashin board member.

Vinashin, which had piled up $4.5 billion of debt by 2010, was restructured into the Shipbuilding Industry Corporation in 2013.

After that, Vinashinlines was transferred to shipping giant Vinalines along with a few other struggling units. The shipping firm could never recover from the scandal. In May 2014, the government approved its filing for bankruptcy.

The embezzlement case is one of six serious corruption and mismanagement cases that Vietnam’s government has decided to bring to trial by the end of March 2017.

Other cases involve violations at Agribank, Oceanbank and Vietinbank, and abuse of power at the Vietnam Waterway Construction Corporation under the Ministry of Transport.

Related news:

3 execs charged for embezzling $12 mln in Vietnam's decade-old shipping scandal

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