Two more top officials arrested for $4.5 million misappropriation at state shipyard

By Ba Do   December 10, 2018 | 08:23 pm PT
Two more top officials arrested for $4.5 million misappropriation at state shipyard
Truong Van Tuyen (L), former head of Vinashin, and Pham Thanh Son, its deputy general director, have been arrested for involvement in a banking graft case. Photos by VnExpress/File
A former Vinashin chief and a serving deputy chief of its successor company SBIC have been arrested for abetting misappropriation of $4.5 million.

Police took Truong Van Tuyen, retired general director of the state-run shipbuilding giant, and Pham Thanh Son, deputy general director of the Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (SBIC), Monday for "abuse of power or position to appropriate property" while at Vinashin.

According to investigators, the two had abused their authority to illegally approve the deposit of the company’s money in the scandal-hit OceanBank, making them accomplices of former chief accountant Tran Duc Chinh, who is already in custody.

Chinh allegedly stole interest of over VND105 billion ($4.5 million) the bank had paid in excess of what it legally should have.

He and Vinashin's former chairman, Nguyen Ngoc Su, were arrested for questioning. Chinh was sentenced to 18 months in prison last August for a similar crime he had committed while serving as chief accountant of PetroVietnam's Vietnam Petroleum Institute.

The investigation into the misappropriation at Vinashin is part of the investigations into a multi-million dollar graft case at OceanBank.

The police last week also began questioning the bank's former chairman Ha Van Tham, former deputy general director Le Thi Thu Thuy and former accounting director Vu Thi Thuy Duong for allegedly violating accounting regulations.

Between 2010 and 2014 OceanBank paid interest above the ceiling rates regulated by the State Bank of Vietnam to customers on Tham’s orders, causing losses of over VND1.576 trillion ($67.4 million), authorities said.

A Hanoi court sentenced Tham to life imprisonment in September last year after holding him mainly responsible for the excessive interest the bank had paid, resulting in the losses. He claimed it was a strategy to attract deposits, but the court rejected this argument.

Nguyen Xuan Son, the bank's former general director and a former chairman of PetroVietnam, was sentenced to death for appropriating VND246 billion ($10.5 million) from what were claimed to be excess interest payments.

The second phase of investigation into OceanBank is among the major cases the Party and government are "determined" to pursue, General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, who is spearheading the country’s anti-corruption campaign, has said.

Trong, 74, has described the campaign as reaching an "all-time high," and urged authorities to sustain the momentum.

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