Jailed ex-head of indebted Vietnam shipbuilder faces more charges

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The jailed former CEO of embattled state shipbuilder Vinashin may be in more trouble after police uncovered violations by him that caused a loss of nearly US$48 million at a subsidiary.

Police in the central province of Ha Tinh, without revealing details, recommended a charge of  "deliberately violating investment laws" at the local Ben Thuy Shipyard against Tran Quang Vu, 53.

They proposed a similar charge against four other officials, including one from Vinashin, saying their violation had caused "serious consequences."

The four are Vo Quang Vinh, deputy general director of Vinashin Construction and Investment Company, Le Dinh Trinh, deputy director of the construction and investment consultancy firm VX, Nguyen Van Linh of the Vietnam Construction and Import-Export JSC, and Nguyen Cao Cuong of Nghe An Petroleum Company.

Vu used to be a director of Ben Thuy before he became CEO of Vinashin.

Ben Thuy is one of seven Vinashin subsidiaries where the Ministry of Public Security uncovered fraud worth more than $65.7 million and ordered the local police to investigate further.

Vu was sentenced to 11 years by the Supreme Court last August for his role in bringing Vinashin, officially the Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group, to the brink of collapse with nearly $4.5 billion in debts.

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He and 10 other executives, including the chairman, were punished for causing losses of more than VND900 billion (US$43 million) by buying three old ships without government approval and importing old technologies for two power plants.

The chairman was sentenced to 20 years.

The vessels were transferred to state shipping line Vinalines, which is also in poor shape.

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