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Royal battle rages in Vietnam as Coffee King ousts Queen again

The CEO of Trung Nguyen has dismissed his estranged wife as the group’s deputy general director yet again.
The dismissal came just a day after a HCMC court reinstated her.

In a statement issued Friday evening, Trung Nguyen Group said CEO Dang Le Nguyen Vu’s decision to dismiss his wife Le Hoang Diep Thao was in keeping with the group’s philosophy, but did not elaborate.

The statement accused Thao of disrupting its management activities in an attempt to corner the group and Vu, forcing the dismissal.

“Mrs. Thao’s goal is to take complete control over Trung Nguyen so she wants to have Mr. Dang Le Nguyen Vu declared insane and legally incapacitated. There has always been a methodical plan and roadmap to implement Mrs. Thao’s ambition,” the statement said.

It accused Thao of threatening Vu’s partners during the couple’s struggles over property and rights to manage and run the company.

Le Hoang Diep Thao and Coffee King Dang Le Nguyen Vu are still involved in lengthy divorce proceedings.
Le Hoang Diep Thao and Coffee King Dang Le Nguyen Vu are still involved in lengthy divorce proceedings.

Following the latest dismissal, Thao has accused Vu and Trung Nguyen of violating the law and not complying with ruling of a HCMC court on Thursday, which reinstated her and ruled that she must not be obstructed from participating in running and managing the company.

“After my reinstatement, if any individual or group of people obstructs my legal rights at Trung Nguyen then they do not accept the verdict and do not comply with the court’s ruling. Therefore I will have the right to request criminal prosecution against such subjects in accordance with current regulations,” she said.

Thao also added that she would immediately return to Trung Nguyen to continue running and managing the company as its deputy general director, co-owner and co-founder.

She also claimed to have prepared correct development strategies for Trung Nguyen after a long period of the company being manipulated and gutted by a group of manipulators.

In her lawsuit against her first dismissal, Thao had said that as Vu’s wife and co-founder of Trung Nguyen, she was a member of the group’s board of directors and owned 10 percent of its charter capital, as well as 50 percent of her and Vu’s common assets.

In May 2006, Thao was appointed Trung Nguyen’s deputy general director, allowing her to manage the company under Vu’s authorization.

She claimed that under her management, Trung Nguyen’s charter capital increased from VND150 billion ($6.5 million) to VND2.5 trillion ($108.7 million) and both the company’s annual revenue and profit grew significantly.

However, in July 2014, Vu signed a decision to dismiss Thao as deputy general director without the board of directors’ approval. He also instructed his employees to demolish her office and block her from entering the company’s headquarters, Thao alleged.

Furthermore, he prevented Thao from performing her rights and responsibilities as Trung Nguyen’s shareholder and a board member, prompting her to file the lawsuit.

Dang Le Nguyen Vu, founder of Trung Nguyen Coffee, at a court on August 14
Dang Le Nguyen Vu, founder of Trung Nguyen Coffee, at a court on August 14

In addition to the lawsuit on deputy general directorship, Thao and Vu are also involved in several other legal disputes including their divorce, management rights over Trung Nguyen Instant Coffee Company and a case filed against the head of the Business Registration Office under Binh Duong Province’s Department of Planning and Investment.