Vietnam has sentenced two executives from its scandal-hit shipping industry to death for embezzlement through shipping deals made between 2006 and 2008, according to the state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper.
The People’s Court in Hanoi found the former employees of shipbuilder Vinashinlines (Vinashin Ocean Shipping Company), Giang Kim Dat and Tran Van Liem, guilty of embezzling more than US$11.3 million, which led to the collapse of the state-run firm.
Liem, the former director general of Vinashinlines, and Dat, its former sales manager, received their sentences on February 22, 2017, after a four-day trial.
Liem signed contracts to buy three ships from Panama, Greece, and Croatia and authorised Dat to negotiate with the sellers. Money was also illegally gained through fixing renting prices with nine different parties.
The majority of the cash was then laundered by Dat along with the commission gained from the purchase of the three ships to 22 different accounts opened under the name of his father, Giang Van Hien, who was handed 12 years in prison.
The firm’s former accountant, Tran Van Khuong, was also given life imprisonment for assisting with the embezzlement.
“All the defendants are convicted of serious crimes, causing damage to the state with more than 260 billion dong, so they should face a strict punishment,” the verdict said, reported Tuoi Tre.
Vinashinlines is a subsidiary of the carrier Vinashin, which nearly folded in 2010 under billions of dollars of debt. Nine former executives linked to the firm were handed lengthy jail terms in 2012.
The company’s near-bankruptcy, as well as scandals at other firms, sparked public anger over official corruption and raised investor fears of wider problems in the state-run sector.