Vietnam arrests 7 bankers for $21 million graft

By AFP   January 11, 2017 | 01:43 am PT
Under their management the bank approved two loans that caused a loss of $21 million.

Vietnamese police have arrested seven ex-bankers accused of approving illegal loans that led to $21 million in losses, state media reported Wednesday, the latest scandal to hit the country's financial sector.

Those arrested by anti-corruption police late Tuesday include former chairman Hoang Van Toan and CEO Tran Son Nam of TrustBank.

Under their management the bank approved two loans that caused a loss of $21 million to TrustBank, according to the police.

After their tenure ended, the bank changed its name to Vietnam Construction Bank in 2013 and became engulfed in an even greater corruption scandal that reportedly caused a record $400 million in losses.

Last September 36 former bank employees were convicted of running a graft ring and received between 30 years in prison and three months' probation.

Vietnam has one of the strongest-performing economies in the region, clocking in 6.2 percent GDP growth last year.

But high public debts, bloated state-owned enterprises and rampant official corruption have made economic progress vulnerable.

The banking sector in particular has been rocked by a series of scandals in recent years, with high-profile arrests of wealthy businessmen and executives accused of corruption, embezzlement or incompetence.

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