Jailed ex-Vinashin chairman on trial

The People’s Procuracy of the south-central coastal province of Phu Yen has approved beginning criminal proceedings against the former boss of State-owned shipbuilder Vinashin for his role in a project which caused losses of more than VNĐ5 billion (about US$220,000).

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Pham Thanh Binh, former chairman of Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group, is already serving a 20-year sentence for a 2012 conviction for “intentionally violating State rules on economic management with serious consequences”. 

The damages in that case were estimated at hundreds of billions of đồng, nearly forcing the shipbuilding giant into bankruptcy.

In the latest case, Binh was charged for the same count for his role in the loss-making project of Phu Yen Industry, Agro-Fishery Joint Stock Company (or Vinashin Phu Yen), a subsidiary of Vinashin.

According to initial investigations, in October 22, 2007, Vinashin gave Vinashin Phu Yen approval for a project to build two 4,000-tonne ships with total investment of VNĐ150 billion.

Despite knowing that the project assessment had not been finished, Binh gave Vinashin Phu Yen the go-ahead to build the ships. He instructed Vo Tan, Vinashin Phu Yen director, to prepare and submit all documents for him to sign for approval the same day. Binh also promised to help Vinashin Phu Yen get loans from its parent company. The acts are all said to break the law on economic management.

On January 9, 2008, Binh approved the project plan and cost estimate. Before the decision, however, Vinashin Phu Yen already borrowed money to buy materials to build a 4,100-tonne ship and finished the work in October the same year. The total cost for the ship building was estimated at VNĐ9.6 billion.

On June 22, 2016, the company had to put the ship into liquidation, and suffered losses of VNĐ5 billion.

On September 28, 2016, Phu Yen investigative police also commenced criminal proceedings against Tan and Duong Son Hoan, chief accountant of Vinashin Phu Yen for “intentionally violating State rules on economic management with serious consequences”. 


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