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Death penalty proposed for Van Thinh Phat chairwoman

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – The prosecution has recommended that Truong My Lan, chairwoman of Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group Corporation, receive capital punishment for alleged charges of bribery, violations of banking regulations, and expropriation of assets.

Today afternoon, March 19, the HCMC People’s Procuracy completed the indictments against 68-year-old Truong My Lan and 85 others involved in irregularities at Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SCB).

Throughout the trial process, except for Lan, all others admitted to their wrongdoing.

Regarding the determination of damages, Lan fabricated loan documents, inflated the value of assets used as collateral for loans, exchanged low-value assets to withdraw higher-value collateral from SCB, thereby expropriating a super-large amount of money from SCB. The consequences of the case have been determined to be over VND498 trillion (over US$20 billion based on the current exchange rate).

The indictment said that as chairwoman of Van Thinh Phat Group, Lan took advantage of the Government’s plan for restructuring poor-performing banks to merge three lenders: Ficombank, TinNghiaBank, and SCB. From 2012 to October 2022, she managed to hold majority ownership of SCB (85% to 91.5%), thus allowing her to manipulate all operations of SCB for personal purposes.

From January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2017, Lan instructed people at SCB and Van Thinh Phat to create 368 bogus loan profiles to make it possible to withdraw huge amounts of money raised from the public. By October 17, 2022, outstanding debt had amounted to VND132 trillion, with no possibility of recovery. Lan’s actions resulted in losses of VND64.6 trillion for SCB, breaching lending regulations within the operations of credit institutions.

From February 9, 2018, to October 7, 2022, Lan directed the fabrication of 916 loan requests, with VND304 trillion taken from SCB, which resulted in losses of VND129 trillion in accrued interest. This action constituted the crime of embezzlement.

According to prosecutors, Lan played a mastermind role and led the scheme but did not admit to her criminal offenses. “She committed numerous crimes over an extended period, employing sophisticated methods that have led to severe consequences with no chance of recovery,” prosecutors said, emphasizing the need to permanently exclude her from society.

As a result, prosecutors proposed the court sentence Truong My Lan to death for the crime of embezzlement, 20 years in jail for giving bribes, and 19-20 years in prison for violating banking regulations. The total proposed sentence is the death penalty.

The prosecution proposed life imprisonment for SCB officials who actively assisted Lan in embezzling a super-large sum of money, namely former chairmen Dinh Van Thanh and Bui Anh Dung, and former CEO Vo Tan Hoang Van.

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