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Vietnamese billionaire sentenced to death

Date: July 23, 2024 Time: 01:31:43

Vietnamese billionaire sentenced to death

Photo: GLOBAL LOOK PRESS

Vietnamese Truong My Lan has been considered one of the richest women in her country in recent years.

When market reforms began in Vietnam in the late 1980s, Truong My Lan went into real estate, amassing a billion-dollar fortune. And in 2012, he became the owner of one of the local banks, which later became the largest private credit organization in the state.

In Vietnam, there is a restriction: a person cannot own more than 5% of the shares of a bank, but the businesswoman used several schemes with shell companies, concentrating 90% of the shares of Saigon Commercial Bank in her hands.

The financial institution was run by its trustees, who provided multi-million-dollar failed loans to companies owned by Truong My Lan without any collateral. Auditors and prosecutors estimated that 93% of the funds from the Saigon Commercial Bank loan ended up in the accounts of the businesswoman’s companies, after which they were withdrawn. At trial, the total amount stolen amounted to a whopping $22 billion, approximately 3% of Vietnam’s GDP.

It is still unknown where the bags of cash went. It is possible that most of the stolen funds were spent on bribes: Truong My Lan paid to have his bank bypassed by auditors and inspectors. The investigation confirmed that $5 million in cash was transferred to the chief inspector of the Central Bank of Vietnam, who was also prosecuted.

One of the key witnesses was the businesswoman’s personal driver, who admitted that, on behalf of Truong My Lan, she regularly withdrew dollars in cash from various bank accounts, stacks of which she stored in the basement of her home. He estimated that in total, over the years of his work with Truong My Lan, he collected and delivered around $4 billion to his residence.

The court sentenced Truong My Lan to death: for the first time in Vietnam’s history, an exceptional sentence was imposed for economic and non-violent crimes. It is possible that the judges handed down such a harsh verdict as a measure of pressure on the accused, assuming that she would not only repent but also help return the stolen funds, after which her sentence would be commuted and her life spared. . Investigators were unable to determine where most of the stolen property went. Truong My Lan herself did not say anything intelligible about it, but she expressed remorse for what she had done, explaining what happened without sufficient knowledge of the basics of the banking business.

This trial became one of the largest in the history of Vietnam: 2,700 people testified, more than 200 lawyers participated, and the total weight of the folders with documents exceeded 6 tons. Not only was Truong My Lan tried, but also her husband and her niece, who were sent to prison. In total, there were more than 80 defendants in the case. Lawyers for the main defendant intend to appeal her death sentence.

Prisoners are executed by lethal injection in Vietnam. The country’s authorities do not publish the number of people executed, but according to human rights activists, the death penalty is carried out in this country against 200 people each year.

The Truong My Lan case has already undermined the confidence of foreign investors in Vietnam, because it showed that in this country it is possible to negotiate with the authorities and carry out illegal activities for a long time. Perhaps they are at least somewhat reassured by the fact that, as part of anti-corruption campaigns in Vietnam, two of the country’s presidents and two government deputy prime ministers have lost their positions in recent years.

* This website provides news content gathered from various internet sources. It is crucial to understand that we are not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, or reliability of the information presented Read More

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.
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