Defendants listen to the announcement of the verdict on August 6 (Photo: VNA)
The People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City announced the verdict on August 6.
Given his 30-year prison term announced in the first phase of the case, Danh (who is also Chairman of the Board of Members and General Director of Thien Thanh Group) will have to serve 30 years in prison (the highest level for a fixed prison sentence).
The 45 other defendants received from two years of suspended sentence to 30 years of imprisonment for the same charge.
While Tram Be (former Vice Chairman of Saigon Thuong Tin Commercial JSB, also known as Sacombank) will have to spend four years in prison, Phan Huy Khang (former General Director of Sacombank) will be imprisoned for three years. Phan Thanh Mai (former General Director of VNCB) received a 10-year prison term (the total sentence including the first-phase penalty is 30 years).
In the second phase, they are accused of causing economic losses of more than VND6.1 trillion (US$261 million) to VNCB. The first phase involved losses of VND9 trillion (US$385.2 million).
The trial opened in January 2018, however on February 7, the court decided to return the dossier of the case and request further investigation. The first-instance trial was resumed on July 24.
The judging council said although Pham Cong Danh and his accomplices lacked financial capacity, he still received the Trust Bank, which he later renamed the VNCB, from Hua Thi Phan – former senior advisor of the management board of Trust Bank, and her accessories.
To maintain the bank’s liquidity, look after clients and raise charter capital, Danh and his accessories committed a series of wrongdoings, causing losses of over VND15 trillion (US$642 million) to VNCB.
In the second phase of the case, Danh used 29 companies established in his or other people’s names to borrow money from Sacombank, TPBank, and BIDV. Following that, he deposited VNCB money in these banks as guarantees for the 29 companies’ loans, causing over VND6.1 trillion in losses to VNCB when these companies were unable to pay off debts.
The court did not support the viewpoint of recovering the over VND6.1 trillion from Sacombank, TPBank, and BIDV, saying that it is the evidence of the case and not the money VNCB deposited at these banks to guarantee the 29 companies’ loans. The court said this matches the central bank’s verification that Sacombank, TPBank, and BIDV did not suffer from losses in this case.
It decided that the over VND6.1 trillion must be recovered from many sources that Danh used for after borrowing the money, including over VND2.3 trillion from VNCB, now the Construction Bank.
It added that the Construction Bank will have to return VND4.5 trillion to Pham Cong Danh as he previously used this money to raise VNCB’s charter capital but was rejected by the central bank.
Because over VND2.3 trillion will be recovered from the Construction Bank as the evidence, this bank only has to return over VND2.1 trillion to Danh. However, this sum will be kept to ensure Danh’s observance of the verdict, the judging council said.