The Ministry of Public Security on Friday proposed criminal charges against three former officials of a company affiliated to shipping giant Vinashin, and another man for misappropriating nearly US$16 million from 2006-08.
The trio -- Tran Van Liem, former CEO of Vinashin Ocean Shipping Co. Ltd. (Vinashinlines), Giang Kim Dat, former sales manager and Tran Van Khuong, former chief accountant -- face embezzlement charges, according to the ministry.
Dat’s father, Giang Van Hien, 66, faces charges of money laundering.
According to the inspectors, the money Dat pocketed was from 16 transactions related to either buying or leasing old vessels
They found that during the time that Dat was working, starting in May 2006, consulting his company's CEO to buy and lease ships, he had colluded with foreign partners to rig prices to illegally earn profits.
The money was transferred to multiple bank accounts in his father’s name, who later used the money to buy many houses and cars.
At least 40 luxury apartments and villas and five cars were found in the names of Dat's relatives. Dat also allegedly owns two apartments in Singapore, including one costing $3.6 million
Also according to the inspectors, Vinashinlines' former CEO Liem was paid VND3.2 billion (nearly 145,000) and former chief accountant Khuong got $120,000 in the scam.
Investigators also proposed that Dat has to return nearly VND249 billion ($11.23 million).
Dat was arrested on July 7, 2015 after he fled an arrest warrant in 2012.
Involving the case, a Hai Phong appeals court in 2012 upheld sentences against eight Vinashin ex-officials for losses of over VND910 billion ($41 million) incurred under their administration.
Pham Thanh Binh, former board chairman of Vinashin, has his 20-year-sentence unchanged. Seven others received jail terms of between 10 and 19 years, all for "deliberately acting against state regulations on economic management."
The court also ordered them to pay a total of VND1.06 trillion ($50 million) in compensation, of which Binh was held responsible for VND500 billion ($23.62 million).
A file photo of Hoa Sen (Lotus), which a Vinashin subsidiary bought in 2007 but ended up with losses of US$22.5 million
According to the indictment, the defendants' violations were evidenced in five projects, including the purchase of the high-speed seagoing vessel Hoa Sen (Lotus) Ship for $87.8 million.
The used, Italian-made ship only operated 39 north-south trips, causing losses of VND470 billion ($22.5 million).
Vinashin, which had piled up debts of $4.5 billion by 2010, was restructured into the Shipbuilding Industry Corporation in 2013.
Dat's company was transferred to shipping giant Vinalines along with a few other subsidiaries, but in May 2014 the government approved the company's filing for bankruptcy.