OceanBank trial: Son sentenced to death, Tham life imprisonment

Friday, 2017-09-29 05:41:29
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Nguyen Xuan Son and Ha Van Tham
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NDO - A Hanoi court has sentenced OceanBank’s former general director Nguyen Xuan Son to death and its former chairman Ha Van Tham to life imprisonment in one of the most high-profile corruption cases in recent years.

Both are charged with three counts of embezzlement, an abuse of power to appropriate assets and intentional violation of State economic management leading to serious consequences.

Tham faces one more charge of breaching lending regulations.

Court documents show that during Tham and Son's leadership, OceanBank committed plenty violations such as paying interests higher than the ceiling rate and outside of contracts, causing serious losses to OceanBank and its shareholders, whilst also affecting the implementation of the central bank’s monetary policy.

Among the VND1.5 trillion (US$66 million) used to pay interests outside of contracts, Son was found to have pocketed VND492 billion (US$21.6 million).

The People’s Court of Hanoi also gave a sentence of 22 years in prison to Nguyen Minh Thu, another former OceanBank chair, and Nguyen Van Hoan, a former OceanBank deputy chair.

Others involved in the case have to serve between 18 months and 17 years in jail.

Prior to Tham’s arrest in 2014, OceanBank’s bad debt ratio had reached 50% and the owners’ equity was negative VND10 trillion (US$440 million), which the bank’s profits could not offset.

In May 2015, OceanBank was acquired by the State Bank of Vietnam at zero Vietnamese dong.