Eleven jailed for fake multi-million-USD afforestation project hinh anh 1Defendants (blue) at the trial on April 18 (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – The Hanoi People’s Committee on April 18 decided to imprison 11 defendants who appropriated more than 863 billion VND (37.94 million USD) by creating of a fake afforestation project in the central province of Nghe An.

According to the indictment, in 2009, Trinh Khanh Hong, 50, who was Chairman of the board of directors and Director General of the Tan Hong Export-Import Joint Stock Company, made a file to borrow 20.5 million USD (about 380 billion VND) from the Vietnam Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (Agribank) for an afforestation project.

However, Hong did not use the loan for the project implementation but for other purposes.

To cover this action, he forged 965 receipts aiming to show that farmers were paid to plant forest.

While using the loan for wrong purposes, Hong encountered business difficulties and had to pay off many debts. With the help of other defendants, he used illegal guarantee certificates to appropriate more than 281 billion VND (12.35 million USD) of other companies.

Hong also colluded with some businesses to counterfeit documents to get other bank loans worth more than 200 billion VND (8.79 million USD) to pay old debts.

In total, Hong and his accessories appropriated over 863 billion VND from Agribank and partner companies, according to the indictment.

Meanwhile, although five defendants who are former employees at the Hong Ha branch of Agribank in Hanoi knew that Hong’s company was unable to pay off debt, they still signed guarantee certificates to help Hong mobilise money to pay his bank loan. They reportedly did that because they didn’t want to be disciplined for creating new bad debt.

After the week-long trial, the court decided to give Hong a life imprisonment, including 20 years in prison for abusing trust to appropriate asset and a life sentence for swindling. 

Do Duc Hung, ex-Director of Agribank Hong Ha, received a 23-year imprisonment. Truong Dang Dan, former deputy head of Agribank Hong Ha’s business planning division, will have to spend 12 years in jail for swindling and violating lending regulations of credit institutions.

Nguyen Van Manh, Chief Accountant of the Tan Hong company, was given a 11-year prison sentence for abusing trust to appropriate asset.

Five other defendants, including a former head of Agribank Hong Ha’s business planning division and four former directors of three companies will have to serve 5 – 7 years in prison for swindling.

An employee of Agribank Hong Ha was given six-year imprisonment while another received a three-year suspended sentence. Both were guilty of violating credit institutions’ lending regulations.-VNA