Banking tycoon Nguyen Duc Kien sentenced 30 years

  • June 10, 2014

Vietnamese banking tycoon, Nguyen Duc Kien, was sentenced to 30 years in prison on June 9 for four offenses, the same term suggested by People`s Procuracy.

Nguyen Duc Kien at the final court on June 9 morning.

According to the verdict read at the Hanoi People`s Court, Nguyen Duc Kien, 50, was found guilty of fraud, tax evasion, illegal trade and "deliberate wrongdoing causing serious consequences".

Kien was also fined two sums; one of VND75 billion (USD3.5 million) and and another of VND100 million (USD4,600) because of his misappropriation of funds and other violations. He went on trial alongside seven other defendants, all top bankers at Asia Commercial Bank (ACB).

All defendants were found guilty of illegally approving a deposits of nearly VND718 billion (USD34 million) in ACB funds at Vietinbank`s Ho Chi Minh City and Nha Be branches between June and September 2011. These deposits exceeded the ceiling interest rate at the time of 14% set by the State Bank of Vietnam.

He was also found to have used six of his own companies to conduct illegal currency and gold trading valued at more than VND21 trillion (USD1 billion) without the proper licenses between May 2007 and August 2012.

The businesses involved were Thien Nam Production and Import-Export JSC, B&B Trade and Investment JSC, Asia Financial Group JSC, Asia Commercial Bank (ACB) Hanoi Investment JSC, Asia Hanoi Investment Financial JSC, and Asia Investment JSC.

The entire value of the deposits was appropriated by Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu, former chief of the bank`s Dien Bien Phu branch in HCMC, who was recently sentenced to life in prison.

Nguyen Duc Kien and other defendants at the trial

The former CEO of ACB, Ly Xuan Hai, 49, got eight years for "deliberately violating state regulations on economic management.” Meanwhile, four other senior executives of the bank received jail terms ranging between two and five years for the same charges.

In addition, Kien and other former ACB officials issued policies to buy stocks and invest in ACB shares, causing losses worth nearly VND690 billion (USD32.4 million).

Tran Xuan Gia, 75, the former Minister of Planning and Investment, who also served as ACB`s chairman, was initially charged with violating economic management regulations. However, he was unable to represent himself in trial due to health issues, and is now staying at Huu Nghi Hospital. Legal procedures against him have been delayed.

Nguyen Duc Kien was arrested in August 2012. The incident caused a sharp drop in ACB shares.


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