Defendant Dinh La Thang (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – Former Chairman of the Board of Directors and Member Council of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam) Dinh La Thang and six accomplices will be tried for their wrongdoings in investing PetroVietnam’s capital in the OceanBank at a trial slated for March 19 in Hanoi.

The seven defendants were charged with intentionally violating State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences and abusing positions and powers to misappropriate State assets, causing losses of 800 billion VND (35.2 million USD) to PetroVietnam and its shareholders.

Around 20 lawyers, 10 witnesses, one entity and 7 individuals concerned will attend the 10-day trial, including on weekend.

Besides Thang, the other six defendants are former Deputy General Director of PetroVietnam Nguyen Xuan Son; former chief accountant and former head of the department of finance, accounting and auditing of PetroVietnam Ninh Van Quynh; along with four former members of the PetroVietnam Member Council, namely Vu Khanh Truong, Nguyen Xuan Thang, Nguyen Thanh Liem, and Phan Dinh Duc.

According to the indictment, Dinh La Thang signed a capital contribution agreement No. 6934 dated September 18, 2008 with Ha Van Tham (former Chairman of the Board of Directors of OceanBank) despite the bank's poor performance and without approval from PetroVietnam’s board.

He also signed resolutions to contribute and supplement capital to Ocean Bank without the Prime Minister’s approval, as well as failed to follow the requirements of the Ministry of Finance on ensuring all necessary conditions on capital contribution.

In addition, Thang infringed clause 2 of Article 55 of the Law on Credit Institutions, which stipulates that an institutional shareholder may not own more than 15 percent of the charter capital of a credit institution, except in some cases, when he continued to let PetroVietnam maintain a 20 percent stake in Ocean Bank after the law took effect on January 1, 2011.

His violations enabled Nguyen Xuan Thang, Nguyen Thanh Liem, Vu Khanh Truong, Nguyen Xuan Son and Ninh Van Quynh to continue with illegal capital contributions of 100 billion VND (4.4 million USD) to Ocean Bank.

As a result, PetroVietnam lost 800 billion VND after Ocean Bank fell into the red and was acquired by the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) at zero VND.-VNA