Ex-chairman of Vietnam bank gets 30 years in jail over $401mn loss


Updated : 09/10/2016 11:22 GMT + 7

A court in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday sentenced an ex-chairman of a commercial bank to 30 years behind bars for his main role in the loss of more than VND9 trillion (US$401.79 million) from the state budget.

The ruling to Pham Cong Danh, former chairman of the erstwhile Vietnam Construction Joint Stock Commercial Bank (VNCB), concluded a month-long trial of a high-profile case considered one with the largest-ever financial damages in Vietnam.

Danh, 51, was sentenced on charges of “violating lending regulations of credit institutions” and “deliberate act against state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences.”

Besides the ex-VNCB chairman, nearly three dozen defendants also received their sentences at the court.

Ex-VNCB CEO Phan Thanh Mai got 22 years, whereas Mai Huu Khuong, the director of the VNCB Saigon branch and his deputy Hoang Dinh Quyet, received 20 and 19 years of imprisonment, respectively.

Thirty-two other defendants, as accomplices in the case, received imprisonments from three to nine years each.

According to court documents, prior to his arrest, Danh was the chairman of Thien Thanh Group, a construction and real estate corporation in Vietnam.

In late 2012, Danh decided to acquire TrustBank to restructure the loss-ridden lender, and later renamed it VNCB.

However, under the management of Danh, the VNCB incurred massive losses, with the chairman eventually charged with “deliberately acting against state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences.”

The losses Danh and the other defendants incurred on the VNCB totaled more than VND9 trillion between 2012 and 2014, according to court documents.

The VNCB is now known as the Construction Bank, after the State Bank of Vietnam intervened to bail it out following the scandal caused by Danh.

Prior to the VNCB case, in 2014, Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu, an ex-official of state-run VietinBank, was also sentenced to life imprisonment for a VND4 trillion ($178.5 million) fraud.

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