Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu and Vo Anh Tuan at the court. (Source: VNA)

HCM City (VNA) – The Ho Chi Minh City People’s Procuracy on February 9 proposed life imprisonment for Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu, former deputy chief of the Risk Management Section of VietinBank’s HCM City branch, for “swindling to appropriate assets.”

A jail sentence of 12-14 years was proposed for Nhu’s accomplice Vo Anh Tuan, former deputy director of Vietinbank's Nha Be branch. Together with his previous sentence, Tuan is expected to serve 30 years on prison.

According to the verdict, while being acting head of Dien Bien Phu transaction office of Vietinbank’s HCM City branch from May to September 2011, Nhu met with intermediaries and representatives of Orient Securities Corporation, Hung Yen Investment JSC, SaigonBank Berjaya Securities Company, Global Insurance Corporation, and An Loc Company to persuade them to deposit money in Vietinbank’s branches in Nha Be and Ho Chi Minh. She promised them interest rates higher than the ceiling rate, along with commission for the intermediaries, which were in violation of law. Nhu paid the extra interest and commission out of her own pocket.

After the companies deposited their money in their accounts in Vietinbank, Nhu faked the signatures of account holders and made use of her power to withdraw money from the companies’ accounts to pay her personal debts. The total amount of money that Nhu misappropriated came to 1.085 trillion VND (43.8 million USD).

Vo Anh Tuan accompanied Nhu when she travelled to Hanoi to meet with representatives from Hung Yen Investment JSC. He knew of Nhu’s deceptive acts but did not tell. Tuan also got 10 billion VND (440,000 USD) in the transaction.

A representative from the Procuracy said that Nhu’s acts constituted the crime of “swindling to appropriate assets,” not “embezzlement of property.”

The procuracy maintained its stance that Nhu and Tuan’s acts constitute the crime of swindling, not embezzlement. Their acts are especially dangerous as they damaged assets of many units, including those with State property, breaching economic management rules, affecting State management agencies in the banking sector and eroding people’s trust in the banking system.

Therefore, the Procuracy asked the judge to force Nhu to compensate the five aforesaid companies.

Meanwhile, representatives from the five companies proposed that the judge make Vietinbank to refund both their deposits in Vietinbank along with interest.

However, Vietinbank rejected the compensation requests, explaining that the companies violated the law when signing false contracts on interest rates, lured by the promise of Nhu.

The trial is scheduled to last until February 12.-VNA