The Ho Chi Minh City People's Court on January 14 handed down sentences to 14 defendants related to a case of fraud that occurred at the Agriculture and Rural Development Bank, Tan Binh branch (Agribank Tan Binh), five years ago.

Tran Huynh Nghia, ex-director of Cat Phuong Nam Co Ltd and chairman of Truong Phat Dat Co Ltd, was sentenced to 20 years in prison; Huynh Cong Phuc (husband of the instigator Nguyen Thi Phuong Hoa, former director of Reetech under the REE Corporation, who remains at large), 14 years; Nguyen Kim Dzoanh, former director of Truong Phat, eight years; Pham Duy Soan, former director of Truong Phat Dat, three years, three months and 16 days (equal to the time of his temporary detention); and Tran Huynh Tram, three years.

The defendants were sentenced on charges of "swindling in order to misappropriate assets".

The court also sentenced ex-officials of Agribank Tan Binh, including Pham Viet Van, former deputy director, to 12 years; Do Giao Toan, former deputy head of the branch's Credit Division, 10 years; Nguyen Van Chin, former credit officer, five years; Ngo Duc Tai, former deputy head of the Credit Division, three years and six months.

They were charged with "violating lending regulations of credit institutions".

Other bank officers include Dang Thi Duyen Nghia, former chief of the Credit Department, who got three years, three months, and 16 days; Vo Duc Hung, former chief of the branch's Assessment Division, two years, eight months and 19 days; Nguyen Trong Luan, three years and 28 days; and Nguyen Minh Hoa, two years, eight months and 19 days.

They were charged with "irresponsibility causing serious consequences" and were released at court because their prison terms equalled their temporary detention time.

The court also demanded that Tran Huynh Nghia, Tran Huynh Tram, Nguyen Kim Dzoanh and three other persons related to the case, Tran Huynh Nhon, Tran Thi My Hanh and Tran Thi Le Hang (the brother and sisters of Tran Huynh Nghia), repay 120 billion VND (nearly 5.7 million USD) to Agribank Tan Binh.

Huynh Cong Phuc was ordered to repay 17 billion VND he misappropriated from the bank.

According to the court's indictment, between November 2005 and June 2009, Nguyen Thi Phuong Hoa and Tran Huynh Nghia forged documents to transfer capital belonging to Cat Phuong Nam and Truong Phat Dat companies to REE Corp, and applied for loans from Agribank Tan Binh.

With support from accomplices, Hoa and Nghia received 120 billion VND loans from Agribank Tan Binh.
In April 2010, Ho Chi Minh City Police issued an international arrest warrant for former REE director Hoa, who remains at large.-VNA