Monday , July 22 2024

HCMC installs cameras to safeguard six tons of Van Thinh Phat scam documents


The People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City has installed security cameras and fire safety equipment to protect six tons of documents related to the Van Thinh Phat fraud case.

The documents, comprised of 2,500 files in 104 boxes, have been put in a separate room so lawyers can review them, said the court chief of staff Pham Ngoc Duy.

The case is set to go to trial after the Tet National Lunar New Year holiday, which falls in second and third week of February this year.

The case, involving some of the largest financial crimes in Vietnam history, involves Van Thinh Phat chairwoman Truong My Lan, who has been charged with bribery, violating bank regulations and embezzlement.

Eighty-five others associated with the decade’s major financial fraud case have also been charged with similar crimes, along with “abuse of power and position while performing official duties” and “lack of responsibility causing serious consequences.”

The prosecutors said that Lan in 2011 acquired three private banks to merge into Saigon Commercial Joint Stock Bank (SCB), which she used as a financial company to finance property developer Van Thinh Phat’s ecosystem.

Six tons of Van Thinh Phat scam documents are heavily guarded. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Duyen

Six tons of Van Thinh Phat scam documents are heavily guarded. Photo by VnExpress/Hai Duyen

Although she does not directly hold executive power, Lan owns 91.5% of SCB’s shares through other individuals.

She directed the bank’s leaders to coordinate with key officials at Van Thinh Phat to withdraw the bank’s money under fake loan applications.

Lan instructed her accomplice many times to disburse the money first and complete the paperwork later.

From 2012 to 2022, Lan’s group has more than 2,500 loans at SCB with a total disbursement of more than VND1 quadrillion ($44 billion), which accounts for 93% of the total credit that the bank has issued. The remaining 7% was lent to regular customers.

The sum was 10.7% of Vietnam’s GDP last year, which was $409 billion. As of 2022, Lan was responsible for 1,300 outstanding unpaid loans at the bank, which were worth a total of VND677 trillion. The loans were categorized as “unable to collect.”

Lan directed SCB officials to disburse the loans to her companies, and she then withdrew them in cash to prevent them from being traced to their origins.

Between February 2018 and October 2022, she made 916 loan applications at the bank for VND545 trillion and appropriated VND304 trillion. The loans carry unpaid interest of VND130 trillion.

She caused losses of VND64.6 trillion to the bank. She paid bribes to conceal the bank’s financial situation. She allegedly paid the head of the central bank’s department of inspection and supervision, Do Thi Nhan, $5.2 million in bribes.

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