Vu Quoc Hao (second, left) and Dang Van Hai (first, right) in a trial in 2013 (Photo: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City has handed down capital punishment to two defendants in a high-profile embezzlement case at a financial leasing company under the State-owned Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank).

It is one of the eight major corruption cases that must be brought to trial before the 12th National Party Congress, slated for early 2016, as per instruction of the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption.

According to the verdict on November 27, the embezzlement’s mastermind – Vu Quoc Hao, former General Director of the Agribank Financial Leasing Company No 2 (ALC II), and Dang Van Hai, ex-Chairman of Quang Vinh Construction and Trade Co. Ltd, were sentenced to death on the same count of “misappropriating public property”.

The two were also given 20-year imprisonment each for “intentionally violating State regulations on economic management that causes severe consequences”.

Incorporating the verdicts of the previous cases they were involved in, death will be the punishment for Hao and Hai.

The indictment read that to pay his debt to a company based in northern Hai Phong city, Hao discussed with Hai faking financial leasing and sale contracts to withdraw money from ALC II.

On March 2, 2009, Hao assigned ALC II Deputy General Director Nguyen Van Tai to sign a financial leasing contract while Hao himself inked a sale contract with Hai.

Hao approved five transactions to transfer a total of 120 billion VND (nearly 5.34 million USD) from his company to the Quang Vinh company. He later took for himself 75 billion VND (3.33 million USD), and Hai took 42.4 billion VND (1.88 million USD).

Additionally, Hao also embezzled 4.9 billion VND (over 217,900 USD) while recovering the money of liquidating assets for hire of another company.-VNA