PetroVietnam head faces prison

Friday, Mar 23, 2018 10:14

Dinh La Thang, former chairman of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam). — VNA/VNS Photo Van Diep

A prison term from 18 to 19 years has been proposed for Dinh La Thang, former chairman of the Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), who was accused of wrongdoings in the group’s investment of VND800 billion (over US$35 million) in the Ocean Commercial Joint Stock Bank (OceanBank).

The Ha Noi People’s Procuracy proposed penalties for the defendants involved in the case yesterday.

Thang and six other defendants faced the charge of “deliberately violating State regulations on economic management causing serious consequences”.

The procuracy proposed Ninh Van Quynh, former chief accountant and former head of the department of finance, accounting and auditing of PetroVietnam, and Vu Khanh Truong, former member of the Member Council of PetroVietnam, each spend 7–8 years in prison.

The procuracy suggested a prison term from 30 to 36 months for Nguyen Xuan Son, former deputy general director of PetroVietnam, and 24 to 30 months for Nguyen Xuan Thang. former member of the Member Council of PetroVietnam.

Between 24 and 30 months of non-custodial re-education was proposed for Nguyen Thanh Liem and Phan Dinh Duc, former members of the Member Council of PetroVietnam.

A prison sentence from 17 to 18 years was proposed for Ninh Van Quynh, who was also charged with abusing his position and power to appropriate assets since he reportedly appropriated VND20 billion while performing his duties.

The procuracy also asked the jury panel to ban the defendants from taking certain positions and jobs for five years after they serve their primary sentences.

According to the procuracy, starting in September 2008, Thang ordered PetroVietnam’s investment in OceanBank so that PetroVietnam became the strategic shareholder of this bank. Under his orders, the other defendants actively three times contributed capital totalling VND800 billion to OceanBank.

Due to OceanBank’s poor capability and violations committed by Ha Van Tham, former chairman of OceanBank’s Board of Directors, the bank suffered serious losses, leading to the loss of the amount invested by PetroVietnam.

The procuracy said Thang knew of OceanBank’s poor capability and that before investing capital to become the strategic shareholder of OceanBank, PetroVietnam should have asked for permission of the then-Prime Minister. However, he had intentionally directed his inferiors to commit violations before reporting to the then-Prime Minister and relevant agencies.

The procuracy said the defendants’ intentional infringement of State regulations on economic management was particularly dangerous for society. It not only caused a loss of large sums of the State capital but also violated the management of State assets and the prestige of the State cadre contingent, and affected people’s trust in State-owned enterprises. — VNS

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