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Hanoi court begins trial on power-abusing case at PVEP

The People’s Court of Hanoi on May 6 opened a trial for the case of “abusing position and power to appropriate assets” that happened at the PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP).

The case forms part of the second phase of a corruption case involved Ha Van Tham, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OceanBank), regarding the reception of extra interest payments of OceanBank.

Three defendants in the case are Nguyen Tuan Hung, former head of PVEP’s Financial Department; Vu Thi Ngoc Lan, former Deputy General Director of PVEP; and Do Van Khanh, former General Director of PVEP. They are charged with “abusing position and power to appropriate assets” under Article 355 of the 2015 Penal Code.

According to the indictment, PVEP engaged in transactions on deposits of fixed and non-fixed terms at OceanBank during 2009-2014 under the direction of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) on prioritising financial services of OceanBank, to which PetroVietnam contributed 20 percent of the charter capital.

As the then General Director of PVEP, Khanh assigned Lan, who was then Deputy General Director in charge of finance, accounting and auditing, to approve and sign the deposit contracts with OceanBank. Meanwhile, Hung was the person drafting and submitting the contracts to Lan for approval.

Under the instruction of Ha Van Tham, then Chairman of the Board of Directors of OceanBank, on paying extra interest which was not stated in contracts to all clients who deposited money in the bank, then Deputy General Director of OceanBank Nguyen Thi Minh Phuong and some other executives of the bank paid more than 51.8 billion VND (2.23 million USD) in extra interests to Hung. 

Meanwhile, Khanh received more than 4 billion VND (172,500 USD) from Hung, and Lan received 200 million VND (8,600 USD) from Phuong.

The trial is scheduled to last two days.