The People’s Court in HCM City on Tuesday began first hearing in the property embezzlement and bribery case involving officials of the Ben Thanh branch of the Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development of Viet Nam (Agribank).
Twelve defendants have pleaded guilty to misappropriation of property, taking and receiving bribes, and violating lending regulations. Five of these are former officials and employees of Agribank Ben Thanh.
According to the indictment issued by the Supreme People’s Procuracy, former director of Agribank Ben Thanh, Nguyen Thi Hoang Oanh, is being prosecuted for three offences: property embezzlement, receiving bribes and violating lending regulations.
Specifically, Oanh used the names of eight people, created dossiers and completed loan procedures to appropriate 2,660 taels of SJC gold worth VND47.2 billion (US$2 million) from the branch.
Oanh said she spent 2,250 gold taels to purchase a house on Tran Quang Khai Road in District 1’s Tan Dinh Ward, and then rented it to a Agribank Ben Thanh’s transaction office for VND5.6 billion ($5,800 a month).
She used the remaining gold on private businesses. When the debt became due, Oanh directed Cao Ba Hieu (former deputy head of Agribank Ben Thanh’s Business Planning Division) and Truong The Thanh (former director of Agribank Branch No 3) to use the Lien Luc Dia Ltd Co and names of some other individuals and businesses to borrow money from Agribank Ben Thanh and used the money for repayment.
Additionally, Oanh signed an approval for Thanh, former director of Agribank Branch No 3, to use names of another two persons to borrow VND13 billion ($572,000) from Agribank Ben Thanh for personal purposes. But Thanh failed to repay the bank.
Oanh’s actions are said to have caused Agribank Ben Thanh losses of over VND358 billion ($15.7 million).
Oanh is also accused of receiving bribes for approving a VND24.6 billion loan for Le Van Tinh (former director of Kim Gia Thao Ltd Co) though he was not eligible.
The hearing is expected to last 10 days.