Vietnam Export Import Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Eximbank) has admitted that one of its former branch executives is on the run overseas after appropriating savings worth over US$10 million from a ‘VIP’ depositor.
Rumors have been circulated online that Le Nguyen Hung, a former deputy director of the lender’s Ho Chi Minh City branch, used faked papers and forged authorization letters to steal VND245 billion ($10.79 million) from different savings books of a customer only known as B.
Eximbank leaders on Thursday confirmed those allegations are true, adding that Hung has fled Vietnam.
While it is clear that Hung committed a fraud, a lawsuit is needed to determine if B. could get her money back, Eximbank CEO Le Van Quyet told reporters in Ho Chi Minh City.
Quyet explained that all the papers Hung used to make fraudulent transactions to appropriate the money were found with the authentic signature of B.
The case should therefore be carefully investigated and Eximbank will follow any ruling given by the court, according to the CEO.
As a ‘VIP’ customer, B. insisted that all transactions be made at her residence, instead of at the bank, according to Bui Thi Thien Tam, director of the Eximbank Ho Chi Minh City branch.
The lender will normally send two to three employees to the customer’s home to conduct transactions of this kind, but B. had particularly requested that she worked with Hung only, Tam added.
“B. once told Eximbank that she did not want to make contact with many people due to the hefty amount of money,” Tam said.
Hung, apparently taking advantage of B.’s trust, began to steal her money in 2014 and the customer only grew suspicious and detected the theft in 2016.
Hung has since been on the run outside Vietnam, while B. insisted that Eximbank give her money back.
Quyet said while the bank understands and shares the misfortune with its customer, it could not immediately follow her request, pointing to the fact that all of her signatures on the relevant papers in the case have been verified as authentic by an agency under the Ministry of Public Security.
He added that B. had signed those papers in advance as she is an important customer and thus receives ‘special care’ from the lender.
The CEO said his bank will “follow the law” and will take no action pending the final ruling of a court.
If the court rules that Eximbank must pay back the stolen money to B., the bank will immediately do so, he underlined.
Quyet also emphasized that the online rumor is only partially true, and the authentic signature of B. plays a crucial part in the case.