Vietnamese banker flees overseas after stealing $10 mln from customer: police

By Thanh Le   February 22, 2018 | 07:35 pm PT
Vietnamese banker flees overseas after stealing $10 mln from customer: police
Bank tellers receive customers at an Eximbank office, as shown in a file photo by VnExpress.
Eximbank says it cannot reimburse the customer until a court orders it to do so.

An Eximbank exec has fled overseas after appropriating VND245 billion ($10.8 million) from a customer using forged documents, the bank said on Thursday.

Bank representatives told reporters that the fraud committed by Le Nguyen Hung, former deputy director of the lender’s Ho Chi Minh City branch, had been confirmed by police, but any compensation would have to wait for a court ruling.

According to the police investigation, Chu Thi Binh, a seafood businesswoman, had been making major deposits at the branch since 2007.

Her huge savings granted her VIP status, which meant she did not have to visit the bank every time she wanted to check her accounts, but this also opened up loopholes.

Hung paid multiple visits to Binh's house to provide updates of her accounts, and she trusted him completely.

Only after Hung left the bank in 2017 did she check her accounts again and found that a huge sum had gone missing.

Police said that Hung had been stealing her money since at least 2014 using forged papers. An international arrest warrant has been issued for him.

Bank executives said Hung had worked at the bank for more than 20 years without scandal. He raised little suspicion despite the fact that he usually handled Binh’s papers singlehandedly, they said.

Binh has asked the bank to reimburse her, but she has been asked to wait.

“Once a court decides that Eximbank is responsible for returning the money, we will do it immediately,” the bank's CEO Le Van Quyet said.

“We really want to solve this quickly and save us from bad publicity. But without a trial, it will be hard for us to explain to our shareholders,” he said.

It’s not clear when such trial will be held.

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