Provinces asked to investigate violations at loss-making firm

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State-owned shipbuilding corporation Vinashin is being investigated by police in seven provinces, after the central police transferred cases related to the company's huge losses to provincial officials, a source told Thanh Nien on October 28.

Initial investigations concluded that accused violations in the seven cases caused the total loss of more than VND1.3 trillion (US$65.7 million) in seven member companies of Vinashin, which nearly went bankrupt last year after piling up debts of $4.5 billion.

The cases included violations in financial management at Ben Thuy Shipyard Co., member of Vinashin, in the central province of Ha Tinh, and Dung Quat Shipyard in the central province of Quang Ngai, Tuoi Tre reported on October 29.

In September, inspectorate from the Ministry of Public Security also asked the People's Supreme Procuracy, Vietnam's highest office of prosecutors, to charge eleven former officials of Vinashin with "deliberately acting against State regulations on economic management," causing the loss of nearly VND907 billion ($43.3 million).

Pham Thanh Binh, former board chairman, and Tran Quang Vu, former general director, were among the suspects.

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However, two officials, Ho Ngoc Tung, 53, former director of Vinashin Financial Co., and Giang Kim Dat, 33, former business manager of Vinashin Ocean Shipping Co., have fled the country and are currently under international search warrants that police issued in June.

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

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