Vietnamese bank seeks police help after $400,000 deposit goes AWOL

By Nguyen Hoai   March 27, 2017 | 07:18 pm PT
Vietnamese bank seeks police help after $400,000 deposit goes AWOL
The National Citizen Bank suggested that the scheme was planned by a former banker. Photo by VnExpress
The banker responsible for the transaction quit last September and is reportedly out of contact.

A small Hanoi-based commercial bank said it has asked police to investigate the loss of a VND9 billion (nearly $400,000) customer deposit after failing to contact the former bank manager who handled the transaction.

The case was reported to the police after National Citizen Bank customer Nguyen Bach Mai filed a complaint saying she had tried to retrieve her deposit from the bank but was told it had been withdrawn, the bank said in a statement issued late Monday.

“We have informed the State Bank of Vietnam and forwarded the case to the police for further investigation,” it said.

The bank said it has been trying to contact Nguyen Thi Thu Ha, a former branch manager who handled the deposit, but she quit the company in September last year.

Mai told VnExpress that she deposited the money at Ha’s branch between 2012 and January 2016.

Ha advised her to switch to a VIP account to enjoy a higher interest rate of 13 percent a year. Mai said that in mid-2016, she needed money to renovate her house and contacted Ha, but Ha gave various excuses to delay the withdrawal.

Mai went to the bank after she lost contact with Ha, only to find that all the money had gone.

The bank said that it does not have a VIP deposit account, and that Ha had set the whole scheme up by herself. It has sent her three summonses since receiving the complaint, but she replied saying she was either sick or on a business trip, and declined to appear.

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