9 ex-officials to stand trial for Vinashin losses

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Nine former officials will stand trial in the northern city of Hai Phong on March 27 for causing losses of over VND910 billion (US$43.96 million) while managing the state-owned shipbuilding corporation Vinashin.

The officials, including Pham Thanh Binh, 58, former board chairman of Vinashin, will be charged with abusing power and "deliberately acting against state regulations on economic management," the Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted the indictment by the People's Supreme Procuracy as saying Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the violations were evidenced in five projects like buying the high-speed seagoing vessel Hoa Sen (Lotus) Ship at a cost of $87.8 million. The used, Italian-made ship only operated 39 north-south trips, causing losses of VND470 billion ($22.5 million). 


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According to prosecutors, two other accused, Ho Ngoc Tung, 54, former director of Vinashin Financial Co., and Giang Kim Dat, 34, former business manager of Vinashin Ocean Shipping Co., were also involved in the case.

However, as they have fled the country, investigations into accusations against them will be suspended until they are seized. The duo is currently wanted by Interpol.

The Ministry of Public Security last year assigned investigators in seven provinces to look into the operations of seven subsidiaries of Vinashin, which nearly went bankrupt after piling up debts of $4.5 billion in 2010.

The corporation is undergoing a massive restructuring effort in accordance with a government order to focus exclusively on shipbuilding and repair contracts, stopping all other activities.

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