Another official investigated for shipbuilder's massive debt

TN News

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Vietnamese police have put another official of the state-owned shipbuilder Vinashin under investigation for his alleged involvement in the group's aquisition of debts totaling more than US$4 billion, a source told Thanh Nien Thursday.

Hoang Gia Hiep, former vice director of Vinashin Financial Company, was accused of being involved in the group's purchase of the high-speed seagoing vessel Hoa Sen (Lotus) Ship, leading to a loss of VND416 billion ($19.9 million), the source said.

Since the group's massive accumulated debt came to light last year, 11 officials have been investigated and eight of them have been arrested.

Among the detainees is Pham Thanh Binh, former chairman and general director of Vinashin, who was arrested last August on charges of "deliberately violating state regulations causing serious consequences."

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In June, police also issued international search warrants against two suspects who had fled the country Ho Ngoc Tung, 53, former director of Vinashin Financial Company, and Giang Kim Dat, 33, former business manager of Vinashin Ocean Shipping Company.

Vinashin is now under a massive restructuring to pay it debts with support from the government, which continues to reiterate that the group has to clear all its debt.

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