3 get death, 4 get life in major Agribank graft case

By Ngoc Le, Thanh Nien News

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The defendants at trial on September 26. Photo: Ngoc Le The defendants at trial on September 26. Photo: Ngoc Le

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The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court sentenced four to life and three to death for embezzlement at the Agribank Finance Leasing Company II (ALCII) on Friday.
Vu Quoc Hao, 59, former director director of the state-owned company, Pham Minh Tuan, 56, former chairman of Cat Long Hai Joint Stock Company and Hoang Loc, 49, former director of Vietnam Assessment Joint Stock Company were all ordered to be executed by lethal injection.
Vu Duc Hoa, the former director of Cat Long Hai Company, Nguyen Van Tai, former deputy director of ALCII and Le Phuc Duc, former official of Vietnam Assessment JSC are all slated to spend the remainder of their lives in prison.
Four others at ALCII were sentenced to between 15 and 20 years in jail. ALCII is a member of the state-owned Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank).
According to the verdict, Hao colluded with Tuan and Hoa to buy a vessel from the Hai Phong Customs Bureau for VND100 million (US$4,716) in 2003 and later raised the value of the vessel to VND130 billion ($6.13 million) and offered it as a capital contribution to Cat Long Hai Company.
In 2007, Hao colluded with other accomplices to sign a leasing contract between Cat Long Hai JSC and ALCII to disburse VND130 billion from the ALCII.
Hao spent VND78 billion of this amount to buy nearly 90,000 square meters of land in Cai Be District in Tien Giang Province.
In a prior ruling at a trial involving ALCII, a HCMC court, sentenced Hao to death for "embezzlement", "abusing a position of power during active service", and "intentionally violating state regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences".
Hao and 10 other defendants indicted on charges of misappropriating property were accused of taking more than VND80 billion ($3.8 million) for personal gain.
Under the violations which occurred from April 2008 to March 2009, Hao and Nguyen Van Tai, the former deputy general director of ALC II signed 10 contracts for financial leasing and asset purchasing, and granted loans of hundreds of billions of dong to a number of companies for asset investment.
These companies include Quang Vinh Construction and Trade Co Ltd, Ham Rong JSC, Xuan Viet Trading and Service Co Ltd, and Dai Phu Gia company.
The Friday court said the punishment is suitable because their violations caused huge damages that cannot be fully recovered.
“This is an organized crime in which each defendant acted as a distinct link in a well-connected chain to commit the crime, inflating the vessel’s price from VND100 million to VND130 billion,” the court said.

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