Interpol issues search warrant against two Vinashin ex-officials

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The Interpol General Secretariat on Saturday issued an international search warrant against two former officials of the Vietnamese state-owned shipbuilder Vinashin.

The officials are believed to have fled from Vietnam following a search warrant by local police.

The warrant was issued against Ho Ngoc Tung, 53, former director of Vinashin Financial Company and Giang Kim Dat, 33, former business manager of Vinashin Ocean Shipping Company.

Vietnamese police said Dat had migrated abroad before the case was investigated last August while Tung traveled abroad soon there after for a medical procedure.

On February 15, the Ministry of Public Security investigators raided the houses of Tung and his deputy Trinh Thi Hau, 47, and arrested Hau for "deliberately violating state economic regulations, causing serious consequences."

Police said Tung and Hau had illegally disbursed more than VND60 billion ($3 million) that Vinashin had borrowed from the state budget.

Dat, who is facing the same charges, has allegedly negotiated to buy the Hoa Sen Ship from Italy. The company decided to buy the used ship despite the Prime Minister instructing not to buy old ships.

Driven to the edge of bankruptcy, Vinashin racked up debts totaling VND86 trillion (US$4.4 billion) by June 2010.

Vietnamese authorities have already arrested eight former Vinashin officials. Pham Thanh Binh, the company's former chairman and chief executive officer, was arrested in August 2010.

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