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Ex-Agribank branch director nabbed for fraud in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta

Tuesday, January 07, 2020, 18:09 GMT+7
Ex-Agribank branch director nabbed for fraud in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta
Nguyen Van Minh listens as a police officer reads his arrest warrant in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh in this photo supplied by police.

Police in the Mekong Delta province of Tra Vinh have arrested the former director of a local branch of state-run lender Agribank for appropriating VND2.35 billion (US$101,250) from a client.

A source close to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper confirmed on Monday that the provincial Department of Police had apprehended and initiated legal proceedings against Nguyen Van Minh, 58, ex-director of Agribank branch No. 2 in Tra Vinh, for fraud and appropriation of property.

During his time in office, Minh colluded with a man named Tran Huu Tho to steal a total of VND2.35 billion ($101,250) from Do Trong Huan, representative of Dat Minh, a local company.

Tho was previously detained by police officers as part of the investigation.

Minh took advantage of his business relationship with Huan in order to execute the fraud.

On December 6, 2017, Tho took Huan to the Agribank branch where Minh was director and persuaded his business partner to transfer VND2.35 billion into a bank account owned by Phuc Thao Company, where Tho is general director.

Both Huan and Tho signed a commitment to keep the money in the bank account for 45 days as a deposit for local construction projects.

The Agribank branch No. 2 in Tra Vinh was authorized to return the money to the bank account of Huan’s company after the 45-day period was over.

However, Tho called Minh two days later, asking Minh to let him withdraw the VND2.35 billion without Huan’s knowledge.

Minh agreed on the condition that Tho would lend him VND1 billion ($43,000).

The two then proceeded with the transaction without the consensus of Huan.

After the 45-day period, both Tho and Minh failed to give Huan back his money pursuant to their previous deal.

Huan then reported the case to police officers.

Agribank, officially the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development, is the country’s biggest bank by total assets, which were over VND1,282 trillion (US$52.2 billion) in 2018.

The lender targeted a pretax profit of VND10 trillion ($429 million) in 2019, but the year’s official figure has not been released.

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