The Hanoi People’s Court on June 9 sentenced Nguyen Duc Kien, former vice chairman of the founding council of the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), to 30 years’ imprisonment.

Kien, who was born in 1964 and resides in Quang An ward, Tay Ho district, Hanoi, was indicted for four offences – swindling for the appropriation of assets, intentional violations of the State’s economic management regulations causing serious consequences, tax evasion and illegal trading.

Regarding civil liability, Kien was ordered to pay a fine of over 75 billion VND (3.57 million USD).

Tran Ngoc Thanh and Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, former Director and Chief Accountant of Hanoi ACB Investment JSC, received sentences of five and a half years and five years in prison respectively, after being found guilty of swindling to appropriate assets.

On a charge of intentionally violating the State’s economic management regulations causing serious consequences, former ACB Vice Chairpersons Le Vu Ky and Trinh Kim Quang were sentenced to five years and four years imprisonment, respectively.

ACB former General Director Ly Xuan Hai received eight years in prison; ACB former Chairman Pham Trung Cang, three years; and the bank’s former board member Huynh Quang Tuan, two years.

Among the accused, Tran Xuan Gia, former ACB Chairman had his case suspended under Article 187, Clause 1 of the Criminal Procedure Code because he is suffering a serious illness

The judging council ruled that Kien used six of his own companies between May 2007 and August 2012 to conduct financial and gold trading valued at more than 21.4 trillion VND (over 1 billion USD) without the proper licences.

The businesses involved are Thien Nam Production and Import-Export JSC, B&B Trade and Investment JSC, Asia Financial Group JSC, Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) Hanoi Investment JSC, Asia Hanoi Investment Financial JSC, and Asia Investment JSC.

Regarding tax fraud, according to the council, between 2009 and 2010, the B&B company’s activities, including gold trading, saw profits, but Kien did not declare them. The Ministry of Finance concluded that the income tax B&B had to pay was over 25 billion VND. Up to now, Kien has yet to pay this sum. Therefore, he must pay a fine of 75 billion VND, triple the figure.

In addition, Kien swindled to appropriate assets in a mortgage of 20 million shares of the Hoa Phat Steel JSC worth 264 billion VND (12.4 million USD) at the bank in May 2012.

The court found sufficient evidence that Kien and his accomplices - Ky, Cang, Quang, Hai and Tuan – intentionally violated the State’s economic management regulations causing serious consequences when on March 22, 2010 they issued a decision mandating individuals to deposit ACB’s cash and foreign currencies at credit organisations.

Between June and September 9, 2011, Hai empowered the chief accountant to deposit 720 billion VND (33.8 million USD) at Vietinbank’s Nha Be and Ho Chi Minh City branches. However, the money was embezzled by Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu, former Deputy Chief of the Risk Management Department of the Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry and Trade (Vietinbank). She was sentenced to life behind bars at a trial in Ho Chi Minh City in January for swindling to appropriate assets and counterfeiting seals and materials of agencies and organisations.

The civil liability related to the sum was already handled in the case of Huyen Nhu.

The judging council held that in this case, Huynh Thi Bao Ngoc, an ACB official, directly contacted Huyen Nhu on the deposit and created conditions for her to appropriate the money. Therefore, the court launched legal proceedings for “illegally trading at ACB and Vietinbank” and against Ngoc for co-swindling to appropriate assets.-VNA