5 jailed for embezzlement at Vietnam state food company

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 Five former executives and employees of VIFON, a food processing company owned by the state until 2005, at their embezzlement trial in Ho Chi Minh City on November 27 / PHOTO: LE QUANG

A Ho Chi Minh City court Wednesday handed jail terms to five executives and employees of a former state-owned food processing company for embezzling over VND18 billion (US$852,000).

Between 2002 and 2006, Nguyen Bi, then chairman and CEO of VIFON, and Nguyen Thanh Huyen, deputy director general, ordered their subordinates to falsify documents to steal company money.

The company's privatization began in 2005.

Huyen, 58, swindled nearly VND10.3 billion (US$487,000), including $400,000 that the Vietnam Flour Mills Ltd. gave VIFON during their joint venture in 2003.

Bi, 64, stole VND4.1 billion ($194,000), including VND1.8 billion that he spent on buying VIFON shares before selling them out.

Bi also took nearly $300,000 from the company and claimed it as rewards for himself and some other executives.

The HCMC People's Court sentenced Bi to 22 years for "abusing trust to deprive others of properties" and "deliberately violating state economic regulations causing serious consequences.", .

Huyen was jailed for 30 years for "embezzlement" and "abusing trust to deprive others of properties."

Their subordinates, two accountants and a cashier, got seven to eight years for "deliberately violating state economic regulations causing serious consequences."

The court also ordered Bi and Huyen to return all the money they embezzled.

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