Vietnam's PM axes PetroVietnam chairman

Thanh Nien News

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A file photo shows PetroVietnam chairman Nguyen Xuan Son delivering a speech in Hanoi. A file photo shows PetroVietnam chairman Nguyen Xuan Son delivering a speech in Hanoi.


The chairman of the national oil and gas giant PetroVietnam has been dismissed, with a source saying he was interrogated in a police probe of a bank of which he was a former CEO.
The dismissal decision, signed by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, named Nguyen Quoc Khanh, chief executive officer of PetroVietnam, to temporarily replace Nguyen Xuan Son as the Chairman of Board of Directors as from Sunday.
The dismissal was based on proposals from the Minister of Industry and Trade and the Minister of Interior, the decision said without elaborating.
Son, as a state official, is now transferred to the Ministry of Industry pending a new post assignment, the decision said.
Son, 53, had been chairman of state-own PetroVietnam from July 2014.
A source told Thanh Nien that Son is accused of committing “economic management violations” during his term as the chief executive officer of Dai Duong (Ocean) Commercial Bank between Dec. 2008 and Nov. 2010.
But Lao Dong newspaper reported that he was responsible for PetroVietnam’s decision to invest VND800 billion in Ocean Bank. The central bank in April acquired Ocean Bank in a move it said to “prevent [Ocean Bank’s] weakness from spreading to other banks.”
Hanoi-based Ocean Bank has been embroiled in a police investigation for alleged lending fraud.
Police summoned Son several times in the last few months for interrogations, according to a report on Tuoi Tre newspaper.
The police has not disclosed much information related to the Ocean Bank investigation, which was first known to the public last October when business tycoon Ha Van Tham was arrested following a central bank inspection that found "serious violations" in lending at Ocean Bank.
Following his arrest, three more senior officials of the bank were detained between December 2014 and March 2015 for the investigation.

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