The Investigation Police Agency under the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS) has asked the Supreme People’s Procuracy to prosecute two suspects for “swindling to appropriate assets” in the high-profile case concerning Phan Van Anh Vu (also known as Vu Nhom), former chairman of Bac Nam 79 Construction Joint Stock Company in Da Nang.
|Defendant Phan Van Anh Vu (also known as Vu Nhom), 42, former chairman of the Da Nang-based Bac Nam 79 Construction Joint Stock Company, at trial in HCM City on June 7. (Photo: VNA) |
The agency has completed investigations and transferred to the Supreme People’s Procuracy the records of the two suspects, who are Hoang Van Chau and Thanh Minh Hung, both residing in HCM City.
The two men were accused of receiving hundreds of thousands of US dollars from Vu by promising to help him and his relatives get US passports.
According to the results of the investigation, since late April and early May 2017, after articles and images concerning Phan Van Anh Vu – many of which contain State secrets – surfaced on many websites, the Investigation Police Agency summoned Vu for questioning.
The agency also issued a decision to stop him from leaving Vietnam to help the investigation. On June 30, 2017, the MoPS launched legal proceedings against him for “deliberately disclosing State secrets”.
To avoid being investigated, Vu contacted and transferred money to Chau, asking him to help Vu and his family members get US passports to leave the country.
After receiving money from Vu, Chau contacted Hung, an acquaintance, as Hung said that he knew an agency that offered the service. In December 2017, Chau told Vu that he had the passports which were left at the US Embassy in Singapore, and asked Vu to go to Singapore to collect them.
On December 21, 2017, Vu used a passport under the name Le Van Sau to go to Cambodia and then entered Singapore. At the same time, the MoPS issued Decision 222 putting Vu on the wanted list. Then, on January 4 last year, he was arrested.
Although Vu told the police he had been scammed out of 700,000 USD but it was revealed through the investigation that Chau and Hung only took 145,000 USD and 5,000 USD, respectively, from him. Chau’s wife had voluntarily returned 3.5 billion VND (150,800 USD).
The Investigation Police Agency proposed that 150,000 USD out of the money that Chau's wife voluntarily returned should be confiscated while the two suspects face trial.
According to the agency, this was the money that Vu has transferred to Châu for illegitimate purposes, requiring confiscation to offset the damage.
Vu, born 1975, a real estate mogul in the central city of Da Nang, was charged with several serious criminal offences – deliberate disclosure of State secrets, tax evasion, abuse of power, and violations of State regulations on management and use of State assets, resulting in serious losses and wastefulness. He was sentenced to 17 years in prison for “abusing position and power to appropriate assets” and an eight-year sentence for “deliberately disclosing State secrets” in another case.