Fish exporter arrested for loan fraud
  • | | April 01, 2016 08:55 PM

Police in Can Tho city announced that they co-operated with the Ministry of Public Security's economic police unit in the investigation and arrest of a director of a fisheries company in a VND700bn (USD31.8m) fraud case.


Thien Ma Seafood Company

Phan Ba Tong, director of Thien Ma Seafood Company, and Tran Thi Diem, his head accountant, were arrested on March 31. Tong’s house on Tran Phu Street and his office at Tra Noc Industrial Zone were searched.

Thien Ma Seafood Company was established in 2005 with VND70bn in charter capital to export mostly catfish and basa fish. The company quickly expanded operations and climbed to the top of Mekong Delta fishing industry. Tong had loans at various banks in Can Tho City and wider Mekong Delta region.

In 2011, the company owed the banks over VND430bn and VND50bn to other lenders. All three factories had to halt operations. In 2012, Tong said his company was facing loses and owed the banks over VND600bn. It's unclear how he got approval for so many loans and it is suspected the company accounts were altered.

In 2014, his prized Hummer H2 was seized and sold to cover VND4bn of a VND10bn loan that Toan had taken with one local bank, but ample bad debts remain.

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