Lease firm leader sentenced to death

Former general director of a leasing company Vu Quoc Hao was sentenced to 18 years in prison on December 10, leaving him with two death penalties and nearly half a century to spend behind bars from previous convictions.

In his fifth trial on December 10 in Ho Chi Minh City since he was arrested, Hao, 60, former head of the Financial Leasing Company No 2 (ALC II) – a subsidiary of Agribank – was charged with intentionally violating state regulations on economic management that caused serious consequences, in particular, a loss of nearly VND245 billion (US$10.8 million).

Hao was said to have ordered his staff to let Haiphong Maritime Technology Co., Ltd and Dai Phat Maritime Transport Co., Ltd lease two ships despite knowing beforehand that neither company had the financial capability to do so.

The leasing cost was more than VND94 billion (US$4.1 million) for each ship.

Both companies were owned by Le Hung Son, 48, who received a life sentence for not paying ALC II, while taking over VND118 billion (US$5.2 million) from his companies for personal use.

The court also ordered him to compensate the ALC II more than VND250 billion (US$11.1 million).

Hao's staff, including ALC II ex-deputy general director Nguyen Van Tai, ex-department head Pham Xuan Nghi, Ton Quang Viet and Hoang Thanh Son have been sentenced to between 6 to 16 years behind bars.

The mastermind Vu Quoc Hao had already been sentenced to death twice in cases involving other companies held last month and in September last year.

The total loss Hao and his accomplices caused for ALC II mounted up to more than VND700 billion (US$31.1 million).