Prosecutors drop bribery charges against ex-bank official

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Hanoi's prosecutors Friday dropped bribery charges against a former deputy general director of the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV).


Instead, Doan Tien Dung will be charged with "abuse of power and authority for earning benefits", punishable by between 20 years and life in prison, according to the Hanoi People's Procuracy.


Tran Thi Thanh Binh, vice director of the BIDV branch in the northern province of Hai Phong, will face the same charge, the prosecutors' office said.


According to the indictment, while he was at helm of BIDV Hai Phong before being promoted to deputy general director in September 2008, Dung approved a loan of nearly VND45 billion (US$2.4 million) to Hai Phong Weaving and Sewing Company and V.K. Company, both headed by Hoang Van Khanh.


The loans were based on the mortgage of the companies' properties, including a container truck depot, prosecutors said.


Early last year BIDV Hai Phong allowed Khanh to sell the mortgaged depot to Anpha Hai Phong Oil and Gas Joint-stock Company for VND57 billion ($2.9 million). The latter is a member company of Anpha Saigon Company, where Dung and Binh are shareholders.


Moreover, Dung then asked Khanh for several payments in exchange for approving the latter's request for withdrawing the sales proceeds, according to prosecutors.


Dung, with Binh acting as his accomplice, received VND4 billion ($209,478) from V.K. Company.


He was caught red-handed accepting VND1 billion ($52,369) from Khanh at a pho restaurant in February.

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