Dinh La Thang, former Chairman of the Member Council of PetroVietnam (PVN), and Trinh Xuan Thanh, former Chairman and General Director of PetroVietnam Construction Joint Stock Corporation (PVC), were isolated before the questioning session.
The indictment says in 2010, PVC invested more than VND3.1 trillion (US$136.4 million) in 46 companies.
In 2011, the corporation’s investment in 43 units totalled nearly VND3.5 trillion (US$154 million), as compared with its chartered capital of only VND2.5 trillion (US$110 million), resulting in an imbalance in the corporation’s finance.
To help PVC, Thang, as PVN Chairman at the time, appointed PVC to implement the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bidding package of the Thai Binh 2 thermal power project.
He also asked Nguyen Quoc Khanh, then PVN Deputy General Director, to direct PetroVietnam Power Corporation (PVPower) to sign the EPC contract No.33 with PVC against regulations.
After that, Thang instructed Phung Dinh Thuc (then PVN General Director), Khanh, Nguyen Xuan Son (then PVN Deputy General Director), Ninh Van Quynh (then chief accountant and head of the department of finance, accounting and auditing of PVN), Le Dinh Mau (then deputy head of the department of accounting and auditing of PVN), Vu Hong Chuong (then head of PVN’s management board for the Thai Binh 2 thermal power project) and Tran Van Nguyen (then chief accountant of PVN’s management board for the Thai Binh 2 thermal power project) to base on the contract to advance US$6,607,500 and over VND1.312 trillion (US$57.7 million) to PVC against regulations.
After getting the advance payment, Thanh (then Chairman of PVC), together with Vu Duc Thuan (then PVC General Director), Nguyen Ngoc Quy (then PVC Vice Chairman), Nguyen Manh Tien (then PVC Deputy General Director), Pham Tien Dat (then chief accountant of PVC) and Truong Quoc Dung (then PVC Deputy General Director) used more than VND1.1 trillion (US$48.4 million) out of the advance to serve other purposes other than channeling the sum into the Thai Binh project, violating Clause 2 of Article 31 of Decree No. 09/2009/ND-CP and Clause 6 of Article 17 of Decree No. 48/2010/ND-CP.
Based on the assessment outcomes, the Supreme People’s Procuracy said there is sufficient ground to conclude that the acts of Thang and other defendants caused losses worth nearly VND120 billion (US$5.3 million) to the State coffer.
At the trial, Thuan (former PVC General Director) admitted that the EPC contract No.33 lacked several documents such as bidding suggestion, minutes on contract negotiations, appendixes, and conditions.
However, he still signed the contract with the hope to create jobs for workers, get money to pay bank loans and invest in other projects, Thuan said.
He also admitted that at that time, PVC did not have sufficient capacity and experience to carry out the contract.
Meanwhile, Khanh (then PVN Deputy General Director) said he only became aware of the lack of legal documents and dossiers after signing the contract.
Asked about the reason why he did not add adjustments and supplements to the EPC contract No. 33 in the contract No. 4194 which was compiled to transfer the investor role to PVN, Khanh blamed the mistake on the PVPower staff, saying they just made a brief report on the contract without sending the dossier to him.
Khanh also said it would take a lot of time to complete required dossiers to sign contract No. 4194 while the project urgently needs capital in order to start construction.
According to Khanh, he signed contract No. 4194 at the instruction of Dinh La Thang and the authorization of Thuc (then PVN General Director). However, after signing the contract, he did not report the shortcomings of the EPC contract No. 33 to Thang and Thuc as he thought they had known about the problem.
Ninh Van Quynh (then chief accountant and head of the department of finance, accounting and auditing of PVN) also admitted that the signing and implementation of EPC contract No. 33 ran against regulations.
Although Quynh reported the shortcomings to Nguyen Xuan Son (then PVN Deputy General Director), Son still told him to transfer the money, explaining that the contract will be finalised later.
Quynh said he ordered the transfer of money partly due to the pressure of Son and partly due to his low awareness.
Meanwhile, Son said he was also under the pressure of the PVN Member Council and the project’s progress.
Pham Tien Dat (then chief accountant of PVC) said after taking the position, he made a report on financial difficulties facing PVC at that time and asked PVC leaders to take measures to solve the corporation’s debts.
However, Dat still signed documents for the disbursement of advance money because PVC must pay bank loans, in line with resolutions of the Board of Directors.
Nguyen Manh Tien (then PVC Deputy Director General) admitted that PVC used the advance money for wrong purposes, saying only VND200 billion was disbursed for the Thai Binh 2 thermal power project.
Vu Duc Thuan (then PVC General Director) also admitted to the wrongful use of the advance money, saying that the advance was used to pay bank loans of PVC, invest in other units and support production and business activities under the direct instruction of Trinh Xuan Thanh.
The questioning will continue on January 9.
The trial is scheduled to run for two weeks.