The defendants listen to the HCM City procuracy's proposal of penalties (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – A 20-year prison term has been proposed for Pham Cong Danh, ex-Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Vietnam Construction Bank (VNCB), for his involvement in the case of “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management, causing severe consequences” at VNCB.

The People’s Procuracy of Ho Chi Minh City proposed penalties for Danh and 45 other defendants on July 30.

This is the second phase of the case and involves Danh (who is also Chairman of the Board of Members and General Director of Thien Thanh Group), Tram Be (former Vice Chairman of Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial JSB, also known as Sacombank), as well as 44 accomplices. 

In this phase, they are accused of causing economic losses of more than 6.1 trillion VND (263.73 million USD) to VNCB. The first phase involved losses of 9 trillion VND (389 million USD).

The trial opened in January 2018, however on February 7, the court decided to return the dossier of the case and request further investigation. The first-instance trial was resumed on July 24.

The procuracy said the interrogation outcomes and evidence showed that Danh and his accomplices had received the right to transfer bank shares from Hua Thi Phan, former senior advisor of the management board of Trust Bank, and her accessories.

The reception of an underperforming bank, the pressure to raise charter capital, and the spending of bank funds on looking after clients were some of the key reasons that led Danh and his accomplices to commit a series of violations.

In particular, Danh used 29 companies established in his or other people’s names to borrow money from Sacombank, TPBank, and BIDV. Following that, he deposited VNCB money in these three banks as guarantees for the 29 companies’ loans, causing over 6.1 trillion VND in losses to VNCB.

According to the procuracy, Tram Be and Phan Huy Khang (former General Director of Sacombank) directly discussed and agreed to lend Danh 1.8 trillion VND (77.83 million USD), but they asked Danh to use VNCB’s money to guarantee the loans and ordered their subordinates to carry out lending procedures.

When approving the loans, Be and Khang were aware that Danh was VNCB Chairman, which meant under the Law on Credit Institutions, he was not allowed to use his bank’s money as guarantees to receive loans from other credit organisations. However, they still intentionally ignored this rule and created conditions for Danh to borrow money, leading to substantial losses to VNCB.

The HCM City procuracy said Danh was the mastermind and played the decisive role in this case. It proposed 20 years imprisonment for him. Given his 30-year prison term announced in the first phase of the case, Danh will have to serve 30 years in prison (the highest level for a fixed prison sentence) if the court accepts the proposal.

Meanwhile, it was proposed that Tram Be be imprisoned for four to five years, Pham Huy Khang for three to four years, Phan Thanh Mai (former General Director of VNCB) 12-14 years (which, if accepted, would go up to a 30 year sentence including the first-phase penalty).

Other defendants were proposed to receive between two years of suspended sentence to 30 years of imprisonment.

Regarding asset recovery, the procuracy held its decision that the over 6.1 trillion VND be recovered from the three banks and returned to VNCB, now the Construction Bank. –VNA