Dinh La Thang, former Politburo member and ex-chairman of state-run oil and gas group PetroVietnam (PVN), is set to be prosecuted for another incidence of financial misconduct at a PVN subsidiary.
Investigators concluded their probe into PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC), a subsidiary of PVN, on Thursday and requested the prosecution of Thang, along with Trinh Xuan Thanh, former chairman of PVC’s management board, and 20 other suspects suspected of involvement in financial violations related to the Thai Binh 2 thermal power project.
The charges against Thang and 11 others include deliberately violating the state’s regulations on economic management, while eight additional suspects will most likely be tried for property embezzlement.
Thanh and Vu Duc Thuan, former deputy general director of PVC, are expected to be prosecuted for both charges.
According to the report, PVN’s board of directors approved the construction of the Thai Binh 2 thermal power project in the namesake northern province in 2007 with an investment capital of over VND31 trillion (US$1.36 billion).
In December 2007, Thang, then chairman of PVN’s board of directors for the 2008-11 tenure, appointed Thanh as general director, and later as board chairman of PVC.
Financial difficulties hit the subsidiary about 2 years later in late 2009.
In April 2010, Thang, on behalf of the management board, submitted a document to the government asking for permission to initiate the Thai Binh 2 thermal power project that same year.
He also requested that the oil and gas group be allowed to select contractors for the construction. The request was granted and, under Thang’s direction, PVC was chosen in June 2010 as the EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) contractor of the project.
The PVN chairman then directed his employees to sign a contract deal for the construction of certain facilities at the power plant, a move that went against regulations.
Based on the agreement, PVN made an advance transfer of $6.6 million and over VND1.3 trillion ($57.2 million) to PVC.
However, the individuals at PCV used over VND1 trillion ($44 million) of the money for the wrongful purposes, a legal violation that led to VND111 billion ($5.2 million) in losses for the state.
Other officials at PVN, namely Phung Dinh Thuc, former general director, and his deputy, Nguyen Xuan Son, were named in the indictment for their role in abetting the approval of the contract.
Investigators pointed out that Thanh also played his part in the violation for directing Thuan to sign an illegitimate deal with PVC to receive advance payment from PVN.
Thanh was also in charge of directing PVC officials to spend the project’s money inappropriately, rather than on the construction of the thermal power plant.
Aside from the wrongdoings within the Thai Binh 2 project, Thanh and Thuan also directed the creation of bogus documents that approved the withdrawal of VND13 billion ($572,584) from the management board of the Vung Ang- Quang Trach thermal power project in north-central Vietnam, developed by PVN.
The money was then divided between the people involved, including VND4 billion ($176,179)for Thanh and VND800 million ($35,236) for Thuan.
This is the Thang’s second indictment for financial misconduct.
On Wednesday, investigators requested that Thang and six other accessories be prosecuted for offenses at PVN which led to the loss of VND800 billion (US$35.24 million) in PVN’s investment in OceanBank, which is a seperate high-profile case.