Four former leaders and executives at Southern Bank – which was later merged into Sacombank headed by jailed banker Tram Be – have been prosecuted for their alleged collusion with an ex-boss of a private firm, causing hefty losses.
|Fraudster Duong Thanh Cuong stands at a court hearing – PHOTO: NLDO|
Investigators with the Ministry of Public Security brought charges against Ngo Van Huoi, 40, and Nguyen Van Cong, 43, both serving as deputy directors of the Transaction Center of Southern Bank, and Phan Thi Hong Van, 38, ex-employee in charge of legal issues, and Trinh Bich Nga, 35, former head of the bank’s business department.
These individuals who were former members of the center’s credit council were charged with violating regulations on banking operations and other related irregularities, based upon the 2015 Penal Code.
The move was part of the ministry’s deepening crackdown on economic mismanagement and fraud to appropriate assets at the now-defunct Southern Bank.
Investigators found that the four individuals illegally enabled Duong Thanh Cuong, 53, former director of HCMC-based Binh Phat Construction and Trading JSC, to borrow VND130 billion and 5,000 taels of gold in 2008 and 2009.
The 53-year-old Cuong put up 23 certificates of land use rights for properties in the outlying district of Binh Chanh, HCMC, as collateral to take out loans.
However, these certificates were later found to be ineligible for secured transaction. Consequently, the bank incurred a combined loss of VND331.5 billion.
According to investigation findings, Duong established Thanh Phat Manufacturing, Trading, and Service Co., Ltd. which served as a legal entity to borrow VND700 billion worth of loans from a branch of the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank). The 23 certificates were used as collateral for the loans.
As of late 2007, the Agribank branch had disbursed VND628 billion to this company.
In April 2008, Cuong made a request to the branch to take back the 23 certificates temporarily. He falsely explained to the bank that these certificates would be necessary for his company to go through procedures to set up an apartment project in the city.
However, he used these certificates to take out loans from Southern Bank through Binh Phat JSC. As a result, the 59-year-old Tram Be and his staff later disbursed thousands of billions of Vietnamese dong in violation of banking rules.
Between April 2008 and June 2009, the company signed three credit contracts with the bank to borrow VND267 billion and 18,000 taels of gold.
As of January 2010, its financial arrears, including principal and interest sums, at the bank had amounted to VND80 billion and more than 9,000 taels of gold.
In December 2018, Be who was serving his prison sentence was prosecuted for the violation of regulations on banking operations and other related activities, due to his involvement in the Duong Thanh Tung case.
So far, Tung has been given nine sentences, including life imprisonment, owing to his numerous fraud cases. SGT