|The trial of Dang Thanh Binh, former deputy governor of the State Bank of Vietnam, who is charged with “lacking responsibility and causing serious consequences” began yesterday at the HCM City’s People’s Court.- Photo vietnamnet.vn |
Bình’s trial is connected to Pham Cong Danh, former chairman of the Vietnam Construction Bank (VNCB), who has been found guilty for illegally withdrawing more than VND9 trillion (US$402 million), the biggest-such loss ever uncovered in the country’s banking sector. He was sentenced last year to 30 years in prison.
Danh was chair of VNCB’s board of directors and board of members, as well as general director of the Thiên Thanh Group.
Bình is charged for his involvement in the "grand scheme" of Pham Cong Danh and his accomplices, and for failing to oversee fraudulent transactions undertaken by Danh and his accomplices that caused $402 million in losses for VNCB.
Bình set up a monitoring team at VNCB consisting of Ha Tan Phuoc, Le Van Thanh, Pham The Tuan and Ngo Van Thanh, who have all been charged with “failure to fulfil their tasks and helping Danh and his accomplices commit violations”.
According to the court, Phuoc’s irresponsibility caused losses of nearly VND3.5 trillion; Le Van Thanh caused losses of some VND6.6 trillion; Tuan, VND3.5 trillion; and Ngo Van Thanh, VND10.5 trillion.
Thirteen lawyers at the trial are representing the five defendants.
Fourteen other people who have connections to the case have also been asked to appear in court.
According to the indictment, Bình took charge of the State Bank of Vietnam’s legislative department whose primary responsibility was helping the governor implement a restructuring plan for six weak lenders, including VNCB.
In August 2012, Bình signed and submitted a VNCB restructuring plan to the government and received in-principle approval from the State Bank of Vietnam.
Bình proposed in the restructuring plan that VNCB is classified as a weak credit institution so the transfer of its stake from a group of former shareholders to an investment group led by Danh could be thoroughly investigated.
Bình also signed a decision to form a monitoring team or “supervisory panel” for VNCB, but eventually acted against his own proposal by applying no scrutiny to Danh and his fellow shareholders.
This enabled Danh and the shareholders to take over VNCB with ease and use the bank as a means for economic crimes.
As of July 2014, when legal proceedings were launched against Danh and his accomplices, VNCB held negative equity of VND18 trillion ($793 million), fourfold the amount before restructuring, complete with debts totalling more than VND38 trillion ($1.67 billion).
Bình, who has 25 years of experience in the banking industry, served as deputy governor of the State Bank of Vietnam from 2005 until he retired in August 2015.
The trial is expected to end on June 29.