HÀ NỘI – Deputy General Director of Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) Ninh Văn Quỳnh was detained on Friday for “deliberately violating State regulations and causing serious consequences” for PVN.
|Deputy General Director of Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PVN) Ninh Văn Quỳnh was detained on Friday for “deliberately violating State regulations and causing serious consequences” for PVN.– Photo vietnamnet.vn
Besides Quỳnh, the police also commenced criminal proceedings against four other former PVN executives for the same crime. They include Nguyễn Xuân Sơn, ex-chairman of PVN, Nguyễn Xuân Thắng, Nguyễn Thanh Liêm and Vũ Khánh Trường, former board members of PVN.
The police said their wrongdoings had caused losses of VNĐ800 billion (US$35.2 million) for the State-owned oil and gas conglomerate when it contributed charter capital to Hà Nội-based Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (Ocean Bank) in the 2008-2011 period.
Sơn, who was the CEO of Ocean Bank from 2008 to 2010 before being appointed to top positions and later chairman at PVN, was detained in 2015 and is standing trial for his wrongdoings at the bank. Thắng was also arrested on Friday while Liêm and Trường are not allowed to leave their residential areas.
The police’s decision was made during the second phase of the investigation into a criminal case at Ocean Bank. The first-instance hearing of the case has been taking place since August 28, in which 51 defendants including the bank’s chairman Hà Văn Thắm and other top officials are charged with abuse of power and violations related to lending regulations and State regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences.
On Wednesday, Sơn told the court that at the time he was CEO of Ocean Bank, he had given VNĐ30-40 billion a year to PVN, through Quỳnh, then the group’s chief accountant.
Sơn said the money was to thank the group’s leaders for their help in supporting the bank by asking its member companies and oil and gas contractors to use the bank’s deposit and payment services.
Quỳnh admitted that the groups’ leaders had supported the bank at the time following a co-operation agreement between the two sides, but rejected Sơn’s charge of receiving the money.
From 2008 to 2011, PVN contributed a total amount of VNĐ800 billion to Ocean Bank three times.
In the 2009-2013 period, approved financial statements showed PVN received dividends worth VNĐ244 billion.
However, a series of inspections by the State Bank of Việt Nam in 2014 showed the bank had performed poorly and incurred heavy losses. On May 6, 2015, SBV took over the bank at the price of 0 đồng, citing the banks’ fragile operations with serious mismanagement. The takeover terminated all rights and interest as well as the status of existing shareholders at the bank, including PVN.