Vietnam’s three most newsworthy divorce settlements

April 05, 2018 | 11:25
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Divorce disputes of public figures have always received ample publicity, especially where assets worth millions of dollars or thousands of jobs hang in the balance. VIR listed the three most noteworthy cases of divorce property settlement in Vietnam.
vietnams three most newsworthy divorce settlements
The two founders of Vietnam's coffee juggernaut Trung Nguyen have been struggling for three years with no end in sight

$65-million separation of coffee magnates

In April 2015, Dang Le Nguyen Vu, founder, president, and general director of $65-million coffee giant Trung Nguyen Group, abruptly dismissed Le Hoang Diep Thao, permanent deputy general director of Trung Nguyen and also Vu’s life partner who was the co-founder of the coffee empire.

In October 2015, general director Vu hosted a last minute board of directors (BOD) meeting with the main purpose to eject Thao from her position at the company. The extraordinary meeting took place without the presence of Thao as the main target of the meeting, aiming to replace her as the legal representative of the company.

Parallel to this, Thao filed for divorce for the first time. In addition, she also petitioned the Chief Justice of the Supreme People's Court for immediate measures in order to secure her joint ownership rights with her spouse in the company during the divorce proceedings.

Trung Nguyen, Vietnam’s largest coffee brand, specialises in the production, processing, and distribution of coffee in the domestic and foreign markets. Currently, the coffee giant has a total charter capital of VND1.5 trillion ($65.85 million), 93 per cent of which belong to the group’s two co-founders, Dang Le Nguyen Vu and Le Hoang Diep Thao.

Half billion dollar post-love settlement

In 2011, the property settlement between Bui Duc Minh and Nguyen Thanh Thuy, vice president of Bao Son Group, drew the public’s attention as the total assets involved in the dispute rounded up to $500 million.

In late 2010, Minh filed an appeal against the final judgment of the Hanoi People’s Court on their divorce because the judge's settlement of mutually-owned assets, residential land, and shared debt obligations of both partners did not meet his expectations.

In early 2012, given the unresolved property settlement, Minh was arrested by the Hanoi police to be investigated for slander.

Three decades of dispute

Le An, who was born in 1938 and became one of the wealthiest Vietnamese entrepreneurs by net worth, was involved in a 30-year divorce settlement with his first ex-wife, Le Ngoc Lan.

In 1965, An and Lan purchased a house in Ho Chi Minh City briefly after they got married. In 1980, the fat-cat businessman was captured for illegal border crossing and was later sentenced to four years in prison.

When An was released, his spouse filed for a divorce and obtained an approval from the People’s Court, which he spent the next 30 years appealing against. In 2013, the business tycoon gained the final judgment from the city court, stating that the house in Tan Binh district, Ho Chi Minh City would belong to Le An.

The 30-year divorce settlement with his first wife was not the only legal dispute the business tycoon had to cope with. To date, after five failed marriages, Le An was reported to be involved in back-to-back settlements over allegations of lying, cheating, and manipulating his ex-wives. Currently, the 78-year-old business tycoon is “happy with his sixth wife who is 55 years younger.”


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