Ex-officials face charges for $1.72 mln loss at cinematography department

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The Ministry of Public Security has proposed the filing of charges against four former officials of the Department of Cinematography for causing losses of over VND36 billion (US$1.72 million).

Le Ngoc Minh, former deputy chief of the department, Tran Kim Phung, former chief accountant of the department, together with Nguyen Kim Chi and Nguyen Thu Hien, both former accountants at the Ba Dinh District Treasury in Hanoi, are likely to face charges of "lacking responsibility resulting in serious consequences."

According to the ministry's inspectors, between 2008 and 2011, the officials failed to check documents, allowing Pham Thanh Hai, accountant of the department's movie center, to fake signatures and documents to pocket the money.

The accountant is still at large, having reportedly fled the country.

Inspectors said Minh, as the owner of the movie center's bank account, signed fake documents that allowed Hai to withdraw the money. Meanwhile, Phung failed to check figures closely and therefore could not detect Hai's tricks.

Chi and Hien allowed the man to take home related documents without permission.

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Inspectors also detected violations by other officials, but since they were not serious enough to face criminal charges, their cases have been handed over to relevant agencies for applying administrative punishments, a source told Thanh Nien.

Together with his superior Lai Van Sinh, former chief of the department, Minh resigned from his position last year after many artists filed an appeal against them, asking them to take responsibility for Hai's fraud.

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