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Truong My Lan begins standing trial today

The Saigon Times

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HCMC – A hearing of a case against Truong My Lan, chairwoman of Van Thinh Phat Holdings Group Corporation, and 85 others was opened this morning, March 5, according to the local media.

The trial is presided over by Judge Pham Luong Toan, chief of the Criminal Court at the People’s Court of HCMC, and is expected to last until April 29.

About 200 defense lawyers are attending the hearing, with Lan alone having five defense lawyers. Moreover, the court has summoned over 2,400 individuals with relevant rights and responsibilities.

This is the initial phase of the case, with a focus on charges such as expropriation of assets and bribery. The second phase of the case involves a bond issuing scheme in which 40,000 individuals were victimized.

Truong My Lan is facing charges of bribery, violations of banking regulations, and expropriation of assets involving the misappropriation of VND304,000 billion from SCB. The harshest penalty Lan could face is death penalty.

Lan’s husband, Chu Nap Kee Eric, known in Vietnamese as Chu Lap Co, a Hong Kong businessman, is accused of assisting his wife in misappropriating assets from SCB, causing damages of over VND9,116 billion.

Truong Hue Van, CEO of Van Thinh Phat Group, was identified as aiding Lan, causing damages of nearly VND1,100 billion.

For the other defendants, there are 45 former leaders and officials of SCB, 15 former officials of the State Bank of Vietnam, and three former Government Inspectorate officials. They were charged with expropriation of assets, bribery, abuse of power, negligence causing serious consequences, and violations of banking regulations.

The whereabouts of five defendants, who are former SCB leaders and branch executives, are unknown.

This case has caused the largest loss ever, with the total loss incurred by SCB estimated at around VND498,000 billion.

Truong My Lan spent a considerable amount of money to bribe officials to conceal wrongdoing at SCB. Among them, Do Thi Nhan, former chief of the Inspectorate and Supervision Department II under the State Bank of Vietnam, was found to have received a bribe of US$5.2 million.

Other officials at SBV were also identified as having received amounts ranging from VND100 million to nearly VND10 billion from Lan.

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