The Hanoi People’s Court on Dec. 12 began the first-instance trial of Duong Chi Dung, former chairman of the Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) and his accomplices on charges of intentionally violating State regulations on economic management causing severe consequences and embezzlement.

Nine accomplices of Dung are Mai Van Phuc, Vinalines General Director; Tran Huu Chieu, Vinalines Vice General Director; Bui Thi Bich Loan, Vinalines’ chief accountant; Mai Van Khang, member of Vinalines project management board; Tran Hai Son, Director of Vinalines Ship Repair Co. Ltd.; Le Van Duong, official at Vietnam Registry; Huynh Huu Duc, Le Ngoc Trien and Le Van Lung, officials at Van Phong Customs Office, Khanh Hoa province.

The 10 defendants are represented by 13 lawyers at the trial.

According to the indictment issued at the court, during 2007-2008, Dung and his accomplices violated regulations on investment, bidding and customs procedures for import and export through the purchase and repair of Floating Dock 83M. The malpractice caused losses of 366.9 billion VND (17.2 million USD) to the State budget.

In the deal, Dung and three others, namely Mai Van Phuc, Tran Huu Chieu, and Tran Hai Son, appropriated 28 billion VND (1.3 million USD).

The indictment said while knowing that the floating dock, built in 1965, has been damaged and no longer in use since 2006 and its owner offered a negotiable price of under five million USD, Dung still signed Decision 186/QD-HDQT on February 15, 2008 approving the purchasing of the dock at a price tag of 9 million USD from an intermediary, the Singapore-based AP company, which bought the dock from its real owner at only 2.3 million USD.

According to the Procuracy, Dung was the main culprit in the case and also misappropriated 10 billion VND (470,000 USD).

Dung was arrested on September 4, 2012 after several months on the run since May 17, 2012 when an indictment and arrest warrant were issued for him.

The trial is scheduled to last three days.-VNA