Vietnam shipping executives charged with 'abuse of power'

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The federal prosecutor's office has ratified charges of "abuse of power" against a former official of the debt-laden Vinalines shipping company, Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper reported Tuesday.

 

Bui Quoc Anh, 54, former deputy general director of the state-owned Vietnam National Shipping Lines and former director of its subsidiary, Bien Dong Shipping Company, has been charged along with four others, including a state auditor, in a case of embezzlement of billions of dong.

 

Do Thi Bich Thuy, 51, former deputy general-director of Bien Dong, Nguyen Thi Le Thuy, 36, its cashier, and Ngo Van Nhuan, 43, former deputy chief auditor of the State Audit Region 7 are the others facing a similar  charge.

 

Hoang Gia Hiep, 41, former director of Vinashin Finance Company (VFC), a subsidiary of the state-owned shipbuilding firm Vinashin, has been charged with "embezzlement."

 

According to prosecutors, the officials forged invoices worth around VND5 billion (US$238,000) while buying a container ship and pocketed the money.

 

Several Vinalines officials have also been arrested for allegedly mismanaging the company's resources in buying a floating dock for US$5 million and buying more than 70 ships in poor condition from abroad.

 

In May last year the government released a report saying Vinalines had defaulted on loans worth $1.1 billion.

 

In 2010 a similar scandal at Vinashin, which nearly collapsed under debts of around $4.5 billion, sparked widespread concern about the management of the country's other government-run firms.

 

Vinalines took on many of Vinashin's projects, but allegedly mismanaged them too.


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