Court hearing opens on VND50 billion Eximbank appropriation case

June 26, 2018 | 15:16
The first instance court hearing of Nguyen Thi Lam, former officer of Eximbank’s branch in Nghe An province who appropriated VND50 billion ($2.2 million) from customers, and 15 other defendants starts today after two postponements.
court hearing opens on vnd50 billion eximbank appropriation case
Nguyen Thi Lam (third from the right) at the court on May 16

This morning (June 26), the People’s Court of the central province of Nghe An starts the first instance hearing of the appropriation of VND50 billion ($2.2 million) from customers making deposits at the two Eximbank branches of Vinh and Do Luong in the province.

Nguyen Thi Lam (31), former officer of Eximbank’s Do Luong branch, is charged with “abusing trust to appropriate property.” Dang Dinh Hong (45), former director of Eximbank’s Do Luong branch, and 14 other defendants, including former officers, supervisors, and cashiers, are charged with “deliberately violating state regulations on economic management causing serious consequences.”

Earlier, on May 16, the court had to postpone the hearing due to the absence of Le Thi Dung and the father and mother-in-law of one of the defendants, who were also involved in the case. This was the second time that the court postponed the hearing. The trial on April 26 was also postponed after a request by Eximbank’s head office as it was very close to the bank’s annual general shareholders’ meeting.

According to the indictment of the procuracy, between 2012 and 2016, Nguyen Thi Lam abused the trust of customers and asked them to sign payment orders, payment authorisations, and bills of payment. On the occasion of paying interest and bonus money for customers, she handed in forged documents. Lam used these documents to withdraw or transfer their money into her accounts. In some cases, she forged the signatures of customers.

Taking advantage of customers’ trust in Lam and the loose management of Dang Dinh Hong, Eximbank officers conducted procedures to withdraw and transfer money without the presence of clients and their savings books. By the above-mentioned tricks, Lam withdrew over VND50 billion ($2.2 million) from six customers in the two branches in Nghe An province.

court hearing opens on vnd50 billion eximbank appropriation case
Customer Nguyen Tien Nam receiving his money after two years of negotiations

On the same day, Nguyen Tien Nam, one of the six customers whose deposits in Eximbank's Do Luong branch were appropriated by Nguyen Thi Lam, received compensation for nearly 90 per cent of his losses after two years of negotiation. quoted that the client will not require the return of the remaining 10 per cent.

He had 13 saving books in this bank worth VND28 billion ($1.23 million), and VND27.8 billion ($1.22 million) of this was appropriated by Lam in 2016.

Additionally, Nam deposited VND10 billion ($440,000) at the bank after receiving the compensation to show his goodwill.

One month ago, a female customer whose VND10.6 billion ($467,000) was stolen by Nguyen Thi Lam, was paid VND9.2 billion ($405,000). As a result, around VND34.2 billion ($1.5 million) has been returned to two victims.

Eximbank's representative said that the bank has issued compensation for cases that are more straightforward first, and cases where the evidence is not clear will have to wait for the court's conclusions. He confirmed that the bank is doing its utmost to accelerate compensation.

In addition to the case in Nghe An, another client named Chu Thi Binh also had VND245 billion ($10.8 million) appropriated from her three savings books in Eximbank’s Ho Chi Minh City branch. However, the two parties have yet to come to terms over compensation.

By Nguyen Huong

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