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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Former DongA Bank exec faces another life imprisonment term for causing losses

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HCMC – Tran Phuong Binh, former general director and vice chairman of DongA Commercial Bank, is facing another life imprisonment term for his key role in causing losses of over VND8.8 trillion (US$379 million) for the HCMC-based bank.

On Thursday, the HCMC People’s Procuracy urged the court to mete out punishment to the 61-year-old Binh, who also served as chairman of the credit council at the bank between 2007 and 2013, and 11 other individuals, as part of a broader probe into a high-profile corruption case at the bank.

The procuracy suggested that Binh be granted life imprisonment for his abuse of power to misappropriate assets and a 20-year prison sentence for his irregularities in handling the bank’s operations, reported Thanh Nien newspaper.

In December 2018, the ex-banker was handed down a prison term of 20 years for serious economic mismanagement and a life sentence for abusing his power to misappropriate assets.

Binh and a former real estate mogul, Phan Van Anh Vu, aged 44, together with 24 other individuals, caused the bank losses of over VND3.6 trillion (US$150 million).

In this ongoing court case, another key penetrator, Phung Ngoc Khanh, 57, former general director of M&C Joint Stock Company, is facing 18 to 20 years behind bars.

The other defendants, who were former officials at the bank, could have their sentences ranging from noncustodial sentences of two years to custodial ones of eight years for breaking lending regulations.

Binh and his accomplices set up many companies, faked collateral and inflated the values of their assets in order to refinance bank loans and avoid divulging previous bad debts, according to the indictment.

He was held largely accountable for giving out loans to four groups of major clients: M&C, Hiep Phu Gia, Tan Van Hung and Dong Tien, which caused losses of over VND3.9 trillion, VND3.1 trillion, VND1.2 trillion and VND393 billion, respectively.

Their loans were granted at concessional interest rates, which went against prevailing regulations.

Binh also asked other individuals to apply for loans at the bank and told his staff to falsify relevant documents. At that time, he was in desperate need of money to fund his personal activities and pay back the interest from his previous loans.

As a result, the ex-banker was found to have embezzled more than VND75 billion (US$3.2 million).

The prosecution suggested Binh square up the misappropriated sum and compensate over VND3.1 trillion for his approval of bank loans to the Hiep Phu Gia group of clients.

Meanwhile, the former M&C boss, Phung Ngoc Khanh, would most likely be asked to compensate more than VND3.9 trillion for the bank.

The other individuals among the remaining groups of clients would also be ordered to reimburse their loans.

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