On March 30 the People’s Court in the northern port city of Hai Phong handed out prison sentences to nine former executives of the National Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin) for “intentionally violating State regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences”.

Former CEO of Vinashin Pham Thanh Binh, was sentenced 20 years while the eight other former executives received sentences ranging from three to 19 years.

Pham Thanh Binh and Tran Van Liem have also been fined almost 493 billion VND in damages, while the other seven defendants have to pay a total of 109 billion VND between them.

The jury said that Binh and his accomplices disregarded State laws and regulations on investment, management and use of State capital, in the purchase of the ship Hoa Sen. Other projects included the investment in the construction of the Song Hong thermal power station in Nam Dinh province; the Cai Lan diesel run power station in Quang Ninh province; the sale of the ship Bach Dang Giang and the leasing of the ship Binh Dinh Star.

Vinashin was first established in 1996 to develop the country's shipbuilding industry but began to encounter financial problems in 2009. The Government later introduced reforms to get the embattled shipbuilder back on the right track.-VNA