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Ex-official of Vietnam shipbuilder faces death sentence for embezzlement

Ex-official of Vietnam shipbuilder faces death sentence for embezzlement

Saturday, February 25, 2017, 14:58 GMT+7

A former official at a subsidiary of Vietnam’s state-owned shipbuilding giant Vinashin is facing capital punishment for embezzling a large amount of money from the company’s funds.

During a trial on Saturday afternoon, the Hanoi People’s Procuracy proposed that Giang Kim Dat, 40, be sentenced to death for his embezzlement.

Dat was previously an acting sales manager at Vinashin Ocean Shipping (Vinashinlines), a shipping line run by Vinashin.

The Hanoi People’s Procuracy also suggested that Tran Van Liem, former general director of the firm, be given a life sentence, while Tran Van Khuong, its ex-chief accountant, could face a 20-year jail term for being involved in the corruption.

Giang Van Hien, Dat’s father, would likely be put behind bars for eight to nine years for money laundering.

Dat fled the country in 2010, when authorities commenced legal proceedings against him and many officials for their wrongdoings in a corruption case at the shipbuilding giant that caused a loss of about US$43.5 million, as calculated in 2012, to the state coffers.

He was arrested on July 7, 2015 and was found committing embezzlement at Vinashinlines.

At the trial, the defendants pleaded not guilty, affirming that the prosecution against them was wrongful.

Dat stated that the money he obtained was commission from the company’s partners after successful deals of ship sales.

The statement was then refuted by the Hanoi People’s Procuracy for being groundless as the money was deemed to be sourced from his misappropriation of the firm’s property.

The case file showed that Dat had asked his father, Hien, to open some 22 bank accounts to which Dat had wired a combined $16 million.

The huge amount of money was used to purchase over 40 villas and high-class apartments in different parts of the country, along with 13 deluxe cars by Hien. 

Meanwhile, Liem had directed Dat to falsely declare the commission and increase the rental of ships paid to partners to pocket the difference.

The ex-general director earned $150,000 in the scheme.

Khuong also benefited from the crime by helping Dat list the wrong amount of commission in the firm’s records.

The defendants will also be responsible for compensating Vinashinlines over the misappropriated assets.

The trial is scheduled to continue on Monday.

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