Ex-head of Vietnam state bank arrested

TN News

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Vietnamese federal police said they have arrested former general director of the state-owned Agribank for "irresponsibility causing serious consequences." 

No further details are available yet.

Pham Thanh Tan had been transferred out of the bank and to the State Bank of Vietnam in July 2011 by the central bank.

Agribank is Vietnam's largest lender by assets and the only fully state-owned bank.

Tien Phong newspaper quoted the bank as saying in late December that it has reduced its bad debts ratio to around 4 percent from 6.1 percent at the beginning of the year.

The bank has been in the news recently for a series of massive embezzlements by senior employees, mostly to finance gambling habits.

In November the Ho Chi Minh City police arrested three senior executives for stealing US$960,000 from the bank, while city prosecutors charged four others in a $5.33 million scam.

Another executive was arrested in the city in October for allegedly stealing $1 million.

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In July a court in Binh Dinh Province handed a life sentence to a teller for stealing nearly $1 million.

That came just 15 days after a Hanoi court sentenced one employee to death and two others to life for embezzling more than $2.18 million.

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