Probe against Vietnam bank executive for economic mismanagement resumes

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The Supreme People’s Procuracy, Vietnam's highest prosecutors' office, has decided to resume investigating the charge of economic mismanagement against Pham Trung Cang, a former deputy chairman of Asia Commercial Bank.

 

It also banned Huynh Quang Tuan, a board member, from leaving his area of residence pending investigation into a charge of “intentionally violating state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences.”

 

Cang and Tuan allegedly connived with Nguyen Duc Kien, another deputy chairman and a co-founder of the bank, to approve depositing nearly VND719 billion (US$34 million) of ACB’s funds in Vietinbank in 2011.

 

The deposit fetched an interest rate of 14 percent plus an additional 3.7-13 percent.

 

But banks are prohibited by law from depositing money in other banks and the central bank had at that time set a cap of 14 percent on interest rates.

 

ACB’s deposit at Vietinbank was misappropriated by Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu, a former deputy chief of risk management at Vietinbank’s HCMC branch.

Nhu is now being tried for fraud for cheating local banks, companies, and individuals out of nearly VND4 trillion ($189.8 million).

Kien faces charges of “carrying on illegal business activities,” “intentionally violating state regulations on economic management,” fraud and tax evasion. He will be tried soon.

Cang is also suspected of conniving with other ACB officials to provide ACB Securities Company with VND1.5 trillion ($71 million) to buy the bank’s stock to prop up its price. 

The securities company, which is 100 percent owned by the bank, in turn handed over the money to two companies owned by Kien to buy more than 52.5 million ACB shares.

 

Investigators said the officials' actions in the purchase violated securities laws and caused a loss of around VND688 billion ($32.6 million) to the bank.

 

In September 2012 the Ministry of Public Security started investigations into Cang's actions but the Supreme People’s Procuracy suspended it late last year, saying some details needed to be clarified.

 

It has now decided to resume the investigations after the Hanoi People’s Court decided to assume that he was involved in giving approval to depositing the money in Vietinbank. 

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