Slew of Agribank officials jailed, arrested in multiple cases

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Three former officials at Agribank's Binh Chanh Branch stand trial in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday. Photo credit: Xuan Duy/Dan Tri Three former officials at Agribank's Binh Chanh Branch stand trial in Ho Chi Minh City on Tuesday. Photo credit: Xuan Duy/Dan Tri

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Several executives of Agribank, Vietnam’s top lender by assets, were jailed or arrested this week in separate incidents of fraud.
On Tuesday a Ho Chi Minh City court handed down jail terms to three of them for swindling VND231 billion (US$10.3 million) by colluding with two customers convicted of forgery.
Nguyen Van Loi, suspended deputy director of the city’s Binh Chanh branch, got seven years, while his subordinates Tran Thi Hoang Yen and Nguyen Thi Thanh Nga got six and five years for “violating credit regulations.”
Nguyen Duc Tri, former director of KTT Consult, Design and Construction Company got a life sentence for “swindling” while his chief accountant Truong Xuan Quang got 20 years.
The two colluded with the bank’s officials to obtain loans of VND99 billion between 2007 and 2009 by forging documents related to the development of a residential area in District 7 which was refused a license.
Tri was unable to repay VND231 billion as of June 2014 when the police stepped in to investigate.
The court also ordered him to repay the full amount.
Loi and Nga were already serving eight years each for another loan scam earlier, while Yen was doing seven years.
On Monday the Ministry of Public Security arrested Tran Van Phong, former director of the bank’s Nam Hoa Branch in Ho Chi Minh City’s District 6, for violating credit regulations.
He had granted loans under dubious circumstances to Ba Ria Vung Tau-based stone company Da Tam Xay Dung Cao Cap, leading to losses of more than VND100 billion for the bank.
Two other officials connected with the case are out on bail.
Also Monday the ministry wrapped up investigations and recommended embezzlement charges against three suspended employees of Agribank’s Trang Dinh Branch in Lang Son Province.
Chief accountant Nong Thi Hieu, accountant Nguyen Thi Hue and cashier Nguyen Thi Hang allegedly misappropriated nearly VND7 billion from the accounts of 82 customers between 2012 and 2015.
They spent the money on so de, an illegal numbers game based on lottery results.
Ho Chi Minh City police have recommended criminal charges against two employees of Hoa Hung branch in District 3 for appropriating nearly VND40 billion.
Phu Minh Hoa, 26, a suspended credit officer, faces charges of embezzlement and “violating state economic regulations causing serious consequences.”
Dang Thi Thu Huong, 42, suspended deputy director, faces charges of “being irresponsible causing serious consequences.”
Former director Nguyen Le Kieu Quang, 38, is wanted for embezzlement but is absconding.
The three are accused of faking documents to approve loans worth more than VND22 billion and stealing another VND17 billion from the bank.

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