Vinashin chairman suspended for 'serious misconduct'

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The Vietnamese prime minister on Tuesday issued an order suspending the chairman of state-owned shipbuilding group Vinashin to review his work and investigate alleged wrongdoings.

The decision by PM Nguyen Tan Dung was annouced Wednesday on the government's website. The government has appointed Nguyen Hong Truong, Deputy Transport Minister, to also hold the chairman's position at Vinashin.

The Commission for Inspection of the Party's Central Committee on Monday said Pham Thanh Binh and other individuals at Vinashin may have violated the penal code. It decided to refer the case to state investigators for follow up.

According to a statement released by the Inspection Commission, Vinashin Chairman Pham Thanh Binh had committed "serious wrongdoings."

These included irresponsibly mobilizing, managing and using state capital; violating bidding regulations in large projects; establishing financially incapable subsidiaries; and unlawfully appointing his son and his brother to many positions as representatives of the state's holdings.

The Commission said it was considering disciplinary action against Binh as his misconduct was serious.

According to the government, Vinashin has debts of more than VND80 trillion (US$4.2 billion). The loss-making company is now going through a restructuring process so that it can focus on its core business instead of other projects like ports and marine transportation.

Government inspectors had last week launched an inspection into the company's affairs.

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