Ex-Ocean Bank executives to be tried again this month

VietNamNet Bridge – The first-instance hearing for Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Ocean Bank), and his accomplices will be reopened on August 28, according to the Hanoi People’s Court. Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ocean Bank (Source: laodong.com.vn) The trial for the case was first held on February 27. However, on March 8, the Hanoi People’s Court sent it back to the nation’s main prosecuting agency, the People’s Supreme Procuracy, for further investigation and reframing of charges. The jury said the decision to hand back the case after an eight-day hearing was taken to clarify some of the defendant’s statements and to carry out further investigation into some aspects of the case. During the 20-day hearing this time, the jury will summon 727 people to take part in litigations, making it the record number subpoenaed by the court so far. They include civil plaintiffs, those who were involved in interests and duties, witnesses, and assessors.  To date, 50 lawyers have registered to protect legitimate rights and interests of defendants.  The case involved 51 defendants who are prosecuted for misappropriating assets, breaching loan regulations of credit institutions, abusing positions and power while on duty and intentionally acting against State laws on economic management, causing serious consequences. According to the court’s verdict, when working as Ocean Bank’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tham and his accomplices, who are other former leaders and employees…... [read more]

Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ocean Bank (Source: laodong.com.vn) Hanoi (VNA) – The first-instance hearing for Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Ocean Bank), and his accomplices will be reopened on August 28, according to the Hanoi People’s Court. The trial for the case was first held on February 27. However, on March 8, the Hanoi People’s Court sent it back to the nation’s main prosecuting agency, the People’s Supreme Procuracy, for further investigation and reframing of charges. The jury said the decision to hand back the case after an eight-day hearing was taken to clarify some of the defendant’s statements and to carry out further investigation into some aspects of the case. During the 20-day hearing this time, the jury will summon 727 people to take part in litigations, making it the record number subpoenaed by the court so far. They include civil plaintiffs, those who were involved in interests and duties, witnesses, and assessors. To date, 50 lawyers have registered to protect legitimate rights and interests of defendants. The case involved 51 defendants who are prosecuted for misappropriating assets, breaching loan regulations of credit institutions, abusing positions and power while on duty and intentionally acting against State laws on economic management, causing serious consequences. According to the court’s verdict, when working as Ocean Bank’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, Tham and…... [read more]

Four men convicted of stealing $12 million from state-owned shipping giant Vinashinlines will have their appeals heard in Hanoi this week as the government is scrambling to wrap up the trials of several major corruption cases. Local media reported that the convicts will take the stand again on money laundering and embezzlement charges at Hanoi's Supreme People’s Court, an appellate jurisdiction, on Thursday. At the first trial in late February, Tran Van Liem, former CEO of Vinashin Ocean Shipping Co. Ltd. (Vinashinlines), and Giang Kim Dat, the former sales manager, were sentenced to death, while the company's former chief accountant Tran Van Khuong was sentenced to life in jail. The three former executives were accused of abusing their positions to steal more than VND260 billion ($11.65 million) from the company between 2006 and 2008. According to the indictment, Dat siphoned off the money from 16 deals to buy or lease old vessels. He also advised Liem on how to buy and lease ships and colluded with foreign partners to rig prices for personal gain. The money was transferred to multiple bank accounts in his father’s name, who used it to buy houses and cars. Giang Van Hien, Dat’s father, was sentenced to 12 years in jail at the February trial for money laundering. All four men have filed appeals. Liem is already serving a 19-year jail term after being convicted of mismanagement at shipbuilding company Vinashin, Vinashinlines’ parent firm, in 2012. Vinashin racked up debt of $4.5 billion in…... [read more]

The prosecution decision and arrest order were ratified by the Supreme People’s Court earlier the same day, in line with the regulations of Articles 80 and 143 of the Penal Code. During the expanded investigation into the case involving Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of the Oceanbank Boards of Directors, the Investigation Police Agency determined that Son worked as an accomplice of Tham when he held the position of Oceanbank General Director from December 2008 to November 2010. Son was charged with “abusing position and power while on duty causing serious consequences,” and “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences”. After working at Oceanbank, Son was appointed to Chairman of the Members’ Council of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN) in July 2014. On July 19, 2015, the Prime Minister signed a decision to remove Son from his post.... [read more]

Hanoi (VNA) – Keeping a close eye on and providing consultancy for investigations and judging of serious economic and corruption cases is among major tasks defined by the Party Central Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs in 2017 at a conference in Hanoi on January 5. According to head of the commission Phan Dinh Trac, it will focus on giving advice to remove difficulties for and complete the first instance hearing of six major cases, and the revision of other seven cases as scheduled. The corruption cases include those related to Pham Cong Danh, Ha Van Tham, Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu and Vu Quoc Hao in the banking area, along with cases related to the PetroVietnam Construction Corporation, he stated. At the same time, the commission will also consult the Party Central Committee on measures to prevent and combat corruption as well as strictly handle individuals and collectives committing violations and causing losses for State-run projects, including Dinh Vu fibre factory, Ethanol Dung Quat plant, Ninh Binh and Ha Bac nitrogen factories, DAP 1 in Hai Phong and DAP 2 in Lao Cai, and Dung Quat shipyard, said Trac. Trac also declared that the commission will also improve its operation effectiveness in corruption and wastefulness prevention and fight, while combating self-evolution and self-transformation among its staff. According to a report by the commission, in 2016, the commission proved its advisor role, helping the Party Central Committee’s steering committee for corruption prevention and control with orientations to handle major cases, while keeping…... [read more]

VietNamNet Bridge - The Party Committee of the Ministry of Industry and Trade has decided to erase the names of three people from a list of deputy ministerial candidates in 2016-2021, with one of them being the current chairman of Saigon Beer-Alcohol-Beverage Corporation (Sabeco). The other two are Trinh Xuan Thanh and Nguyen Xuan Son. Thanh is facing an international arrest warrant over losses of a whopping VND3.3 trillion at PetroVietnam Construction Corporation (PVC) where he was serving as chairman in 2011-2013. Meanwhile, Son, former chairman of Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN), was detained over his alleged involvement in wrongdoing committed by former OceanBank chairman Ha Van Tham who is also in police custody. The Party Central Committee's Inspection Commission said in late October that it had detected the ministry's Party Committee's irregularities in appointments of Thanh, Son and Vu Quang Hai, a son of former Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang. The Secretariat of the Party Central Committee issued a warning against Vu Huy Hoang for wrongdoing in the ministry's promotions and appointments of Hai, Thanh and Son. Hoang's son has tendered his resignation from Sabeco's board. The ministry's Party Committee issued a resolution dealing with these wrongful appointments. The ministry wrote to the Party Central Committee's Personnel Commission saying it had removed Thanh, Son and Sabeco chairman Vo Thanh Ha from the list of candidates for deputy minister in the 2016-2021 period. Ha used to serve as secretary of the then Minister Vu Huy…... [read more]

Hanoi (VNA) – Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong has urged higher resolve and more drastic actions to better prevent and fight corruption, wastefulness and negative phenomena. He made the request at the 11th session of the Central Steering Committee on Anti-Corruption in Hanoi on December 28. While recognising the committee’s efforts, the Party chief, who is also head of the steering committee, pointed out that many shortcomings remain, particularly the slow pace of the investigation, prosecution and trial of some serious corruption cases and the small amount of assets recovered from corruption cases. State agencies failed to uncover corruption within their apparatus, and most of those cases were brought to light by the media or the public. The Party General Secretary emphasised that while the central government has taken strong actions against corruption, local governments have not done much. He asked the committee to put more serious or delayed corruption cases under its supervision and pay more heed to the fields of natural resources, environment, taxation, customs, and the private and foreign invested sectors. It must take measures to prevent corruption suspects from escaping and step up inspection and examination of the responsibility of the heads of agencies when corruption occurs. It is also necessary to increase information dissemination on corruption fight activities and the implementation of the Politburo’s Directive 05 on studying and following Ho Chi Minh’s ideology, morality and lifestyle, and the resolution of the 12th Party Central Committee’s fourth session on Party reinforcement, he added. Reviewing…... [read more]

OceanBank case to go before court Quang Chung HCMC – The Supreme People’s Court has issued indictments against 48 people involved in the OceanBank scandal. They are charged with violating lending rules, abusing power and deliberately infringing State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences. Earlier, the Steering Committee for Anti-corruption took legal action against six high-profile graft cases, including the OceanBank case which will be brought to court in the first quarter of next year. The mastermind behind the OceanBank case that has drawn much public attention is the former chairman of the bank, Ha Van Tham. According to the indictments, Tham and his accomplices violated the regulations on lending, capital mobilization and interest rates that caused heavy losses for OceanBank and shareholders, and left negative impact on the nation’s monetary policy. In 2010-2014, more than 51,000 individuals and 392 organizations deposited money at the bank and received interest rates that were higher than the permitted levels, a violation of the then banking rules. Tham and his accomplices caused losses of VND2 trillion (US$88.1 million) for the State, the indictments said. Right after those irregularities had been detected, the State Bank of Vietnam suspended Tham from the chairman and board member roles. In late October 2014, he was detained by the police. In July last year former chairman of Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PVN) Nguyen Xuan Son was also detained over alleged involvement in wrongdoing committed by Ha Van Tham. Son was ex-general director of OceanBank years…... [read more]

The Supreme People’s Procuracy officially filed charges on December 23 against the former Chairman of Ocean Bank, Ha Van Tham, and 47 accomplices for serious violations during their time in charge of the bank. Tham and the others were charged with “violating lending regulations of credit institutions”, “abusing positions and power while performing official duties”, and “deliberately acting against the State’s regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences”. Former CEOs Nguyen Minh Thu and Nguyen Xuan Son and Deputy CEOs Nguyen Van Hoan, Le Thi Thuy and Nguyen Minh Phuong count among Tham’s accomplices. The remainder are former directors at branches and transaction offices. The charge sheet states there were serious violations in the bank’s operating activities, including lending, mobilizing deposits, and paying customers a higher interest rate than the ceiling regulated by the central bank, affecting the implementation of the State’s monetary policy. For the charge of violating lending regulations of credit institutions, Tham is charged with personally ordering Ocean Bank’s Board of Directors to approve a loan of VND500 billion ($11.1 million) to former Chairman of the Vietnam Construction Bank (VNCB) Pham Cong Danh, who received a 30-year sentence last September for causing losses of VND9 trillion ($396 million) at VNCB. The amount of the illegal loan ordered by Tham was above regulated limits and the loan was pushed through without collateral, causing a loss of VND343 billion ($15.1 million) for Ocean Bank. On the charge of abusing positions and power while performing official duties, Son is alleged…... [read more]

VDSC: No breakthrough until end-November Phuong Thao By Phuong Thao - The Saigon Times Daily HCMC – Viet Dragon Securities Company (VDSC) has predicted the market would not make a breakthrough from now to the end of this month as investors still look cautious. In a strategy report released early this week, VDSC said that earnings of listed enterprises in the third quarter and news about the National Assembly session have yet to boost investor sentiment. Therefore, investors would stay on the sidelines to wait for more positive news. In October, investors faced numerous challenges as there was a mix of positive and negative information, the brokerage said. The detention of Ocean Bank’s former chairman Ha Van Tham reminded investors of the arrest two years ago of ACB’s former vice chairman Nguyen Duc Kien, which sent shockwaves across the capital market. Meanwhile, the State Bank of Vietnam continued to lower deposit rate ceilings, sparking speculation that cash would flow from banks into the stock market. On the global front, the U.S. Federal Reserve (FED) announced to end its bond buying program QE3 at the end of the month whereas the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan have launched new economic stimulus packages. As investors saw mixed information in a brief period, they decided to stay put, dragging down liquidity on the market. If there is no positive news coming out, investors would reduce trading until the end of this month, the firm said. Meanwhile, liquidity and foreign trading…... [read more]




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