Former OceanBank CEO faces death penalty for embezzlement
  • | | September 14, 2017 05:20 PM
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Former CEO of the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Ocean Bank), Nguyen Xuan Son has just had the death penalty proposed while the bank's former chairman, Ha Van Tham faces a life sentence for appropriating state assets.

Former CEO of Ocean Bank, Nguyen Xuan Son and the bank's former chairman, Ha Van Tham and over 40 defendants attend a trial in Hanoi on September 14.

The sentences were proposed Thursday by the Hanoi People’s Court at an on-going trial of 51 ex-staff of Ocean Bank and PetroVietnam in one of the largest corruption cases in recent years.

According to the court, Ha Van Tham during his chairmanship of the Oceanbank and his accomplices, who are other former leaders and employees of the bank, committed many violations including paying higher, off the record, interest than the ceiling rate, causing serious losses to the bank and its shareholders, and affecting the implementation of the central bank’s monetary policy. Their violations resulted in losses of nearly VND2 trillion (USD88 million) for Ocean Bank.

Tham had also actively assisted Nguyen Xuan Son to commit serious violations when Son was sent by PetroVietnam, OceanBank's large partner, to take the post as CEO here.

Following Son's suggestion, Tham gave Son VND 69 billion (USD3.05 million) to spend on presents for leaders of PetroVietnam. However, Son could not give evidence as to how he had spent the sum so he should be responsible for the financial losses, the court said.

Tham faces a life sentence for embezzlement, abuse of power to appropriate assets, breach of lending regulations and intentional violation of state economic management regulations leading to serious consequences.

Nguyen Xuan Son, former chairman of PetroVietnam and CEO of OceanBank had the death sentence proposed for embezzlement, abuse of power and violating state economic management regulations.

Son was also requested to return VND 67 billion (USD2.96 million) which he took to spend on presents, repay OceanBank VND 199 billion (USD8.77 million) for paying interest higher than the ceiling rate, and compensate PetroVietnam VND 49 billion (2.16 million) which he appropriated from the group.

Meanwhile, Ha Van Tham and over 40 accomplices at OceanBank were requested to return over VND1.5 trillion (USD69.2 million) for paying off the record interest higher than the ceiling rate.

Procurators also proposed imprisonment sentences of 24-27 years for Ocean Bank former Director General Nguyen Minh Thu and 20-24 years for Ocean Bank former Deputy Director General Nguyen Van Hoan Thu.

Prior to Tham’s arrest in 2014, OceanBank’s bad debt ratio had reached 50% and the owners’ equity was negative VND10 trillion (USD440 million), which the bank’s profits could not offset.

In May 2015, OceanBank was nationalised by the State Bank of Vietnam.

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