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​Vietnam police add three more Eximbank employees to probe of $10.8mn savings theft

Wednesday, March 28, 2018, 09:43 GMT+7

A total of five employees of Vietnamese lender Eximbank have been placed under investigation for their role in helping a wanted former executive steal more than US$10 million from a depositor, police said Tuesday, updating initial information that only two bankers were involved.

Ho Ngoc Thuy and Nguyen Thi Thi, who both work in the customer office of Eximbank’s Ho Chi Minh City branch, had their cubicles searched before being arrested on charges of “deliberately violating state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences” around noon on Monday.

Besides these two female clerks, police have also initiated legal proceedings against three other Eximbank employees but did not take them in custody.

Nguyen Thi Ngoc Tram, Tran Nguyen Xuan Lan and Cao Lan Phuong are only prohibited from leaving their residence to serve the investigation, according to police officers.

They all face charges of “dereliction of duty that causes damage to property of the state, businesses and organizations,” pursuant to the Penal Code.

Tram and Lan quit Eximbank before the probe was launched.

Police escort two arrested Eximbank employees in Ho Chi Minh City on March 26, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre
Police escort two arrested Eximbank employees in Ho Chi Minh City on March 26, 2018. Photo: Tuoi Tre

All of the five Eximbank clerks are believed to play a role in helping Le Nguyen Hung, a former deputy director of Eximbank Ho Chi Minh City, used fake papers and forged authorization letters to steal VND245 billion ($10.8 million) from different savings books of a customer named Chu Thi Binh.

Eximbank admitted in February that Hung is on the run overseas after a wanted notice was issued for him in December 2017.

According to police investigation, Hung forged papers which stated that Binh authorized Nguyen Thi Hong Le, his wife's aunt, to withdraw money from the savings books on her behalf.

The fugitive banker managed to have Binh sign those papers in advance, and himself faked Le's signature.

Thuy and Thi, as part of their work, were asked to confirm that those letters were authentic.

It was not clear how Tram, Lan and Phuong were responsible for the theft.

Ngo Thanh Tung, a member of the Eximbank board of directors, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the lender’s employees had to act against their own volition, apparently being forced by their boss, Hung.

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