Tran Qui Thanh, the 70-year-old chairman of Vietnam’s largest beverage producer Tan Hiep Phat (THP), was arrested Monday on charges of illegally appropriating property.
Thanh’s daughter Tran Uyen Phuong, 40, was also arrested and Tran Ngoc Bich, 39, is under investigation but left out of custody, for allegedly colluding with their father. Both are deputy general directors of THP.
The Investigation Office (C01) at the Ministry of Public Security issued warrants for the suspects April 8 and 10.
Police searched the residences and workplaces of three at nine locations on Monday afternoon. Hundreds of armed police locked down the THP’s headquarters on Highway 13, Lai Thieu Ward, Thuan An City, Binh Duong Province.
According to the investigation office, the detentions came after reports from residents in nearby Ho Chi Minh City and Dong Nai Province that accused Thanh, Phuong, Bich and several other individuals of acts of fraud and “abuse of trust to acquire property,” as well as tax evasion. Most of the fraud allegations are related to high-value real estate projects in Dong Nai and Ho Chi Minh City.
Police officers outside Tan Hiep Phat headquarter in Binh Duong on April 10, 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Yen Khanh
The investigation began in March last year after police received an accusation letter signed by three accusers: 1) Le Van Lam, CEO of Kim Oanh Dong Nai Investment and Development Company, 2) Nguyen Van Chung, CEO of DCB Joint Stock Company and 3) Lam Hoang Son.
The accusers claimed that Phat, Phuong and others used fake contracts to borrow money.
Lam said that the fraud cost Kim Oanh Dong Nai over VND1 trillion ($40.21 million) in damages.
The C01 Office has asked Dong Nai authorities to freeze all transactions at Minh Thanh Dong Nai Company and at a residential area in An Phuoc Commune, where Lam claimed that land had been acquired illegally.
The office also ordered Ho Chi Minh City authorities to freeze 33 land lots owned by Phuong in Thu Duc City and Binh Tan District.
A legal representative of Phuong’s has told VnExpress that all the accusations are false and that all the associated contracts were real and agreed upon by all sides.
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