36 prosecuted in $402 mln illegal lending scheme at Vietnamese bank

By Thai Son, Thanh Nien News

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Pham Cong Danh, former chairman of Vietnam Construction Bank. Photo: Thanh Nien Pham Cong Danh, former chairman of Vietnam Construction Bank. Photo: Thanh Nien

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The top prosecutor's office in Vietnam has filed an indictment against 36 people linked to Vietnam Construction Bank, including its former senior executives, for violations involving loans worth more than VND9 trillion (US$402 million). 
The accused include the bank’s former chairman Pham Cong Danh, CEO Mai Huu Khuong and senior managers of 14 private companies.
Danh and Khuong now face charges of deliberately violating economic regulations causing serious consequences and violating lending regulations.
The case was busted in 2014 after Dang was accused of devising different scams to steal from the bank, including setting up fraudulent companies to take out huge loans.
In 2012, the central bank was restructuring Trust Bank and rebranding it into Vietnam Construction Bank. Around 20 investors were allowed to join.
One of them was construction conglomerate Thien Thanh, for which Danh also served as a chairman, with an 80 percent stake. In September that year, Thien Thanh acquired a 9.67 percent stake in the bank.
Most of the other new investors were either companies founded by Danh or his relatives, according to investigators.
Danh ended up controlling more than 84 percent of shares in Vietnam Construction Bank.
As the bank's de facto boss, Danh colluded with other executives in faking documents to take money from its budget, supposedly for funding system upgrade and new office projects.
He also founded a dozen of subsidiaries in the name of Thien Thanh Group to take out loans from the bank, using assets that had already been put down as collateral for loans at other banks. The value of the assets was also inflated.

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