Fisheries firm execs arrested for fraud loans worth millions

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The Thien Ma Seaffod Company in Can Tho City's Tra Noc Industrial Park. Photo credit: Cuu Long/VnExpress The Thien Ma Seaffod Company in Can Tho City's Tra Noc Industrial Park. Photo credit: Cuu Long/VnExpress

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The Ministry of Public Security has arrested the director of a fisheries company in Can Tho city and his accountant for fraudulently borrowing millions of dollars from banks and cooking their company’s books to conceal their wrongdoing.
Phan Ba Tong, chief of Thien Ma Seafood Company, was arrested Thursday along with Tran Thi Diem for allegedly borrowing VND700 billion (US$31.4 million) from several banks in Can Tho and Hau Giang Province though their company was not eligible.
It is unclear how they managed to get their applications approved by the banks.
Investigators have taken them to Hanoi for questioning after raiding their office and houses.
Thien Ma was formed in 2005 with a registered capital of VND70 billion. It built 12 large farms and three factories and recruited thousands of workers.
Tong was thought to be a successful and rich businessman who owned several large houses in downtown Can Tho and expensive cars.
In late 2012 he had said his company could not repay the VND600 billion loans due to losses.
Diem falsified the books to conceal the company’s losses to keep it going, leading to increasing bad debts, investigators said.

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