The Hanoi People’s Court on April 16 opened the trail of Nguyen Duc Kien, former vice chairman of the founding council of the Asia Commercial Bank (ACB), and his accomplices with charges of fraud.

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

Tran Ngoc Thanh and Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, Director and Chief Accountant of the Hanoi ACB Investment JSC, are charged with swindling to appropriate assets.

Six other defendants are former ACB Chairman Tran Xuan Gia, former Vice Chairpersons Le Vu Ky and Trinh Kim Quang, ACB former General Director Ly Xuan Hai, ACB former Chairman Pham Trung Cang, and the bank’s former board member Huynh Quang Tuan. They are charged with acting against the State’s economic management regulations, which caused serious consequences.

According to indictments, from 1993, Kien owned nearly 3.8 percent of ACB’s shares. He served as ACB Vice Chairman during 1994-2008 and was Chairman of the bank’s investment council for nine years from 2003.

He is accused of using six of his own companies between May 2007 and August 2012 to conduct illegal financial and gold trading valued at more than 21 trillion VND (1 billion USD) without the proper licenses.

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.

In addition, Kien allegedly 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 prosecution argues that he instructed Thanh and Yen to make a fake document from a management board meeting to defraud the mortgage.

In another charge, Kien and his accomplices - Gia, Ky, Cang, Quang, Hai, and Tuan – are accused on March 22, 2010 of issuing a decision mandating individuals to deposit 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.

Moreover, Kien and the former ACB officials also allegedly issued policies to buy stocks and invest in ACB shares, causing losses worth nearly 690 billion VND (32.4 million USD).-VNA