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Court returns 300 billion VND fraud case at SME Securities Company

HanoiBecause former SME chairman Phan Huy Chi gave a report showing that he had paid more than the amount charged and new testimony appeared, the jury adjourned the trial.

On the afternoon of May 10, after conferring, presiding judge Dang Thi Thanh Huyen announced the decision to return the file, requesting to continue investigating the 300 billion VND fraud related case. SME Securities Company.

Therefore, the trial of the former SME chairman and 9 accomplices scheduled for 10 days at the Hanoi People’s Court had to be halted after two days while in the interrogation part. The case was prosecuted 9 years ago, April 2013. Currently, 9 out of 10 defendants are out on bail.

During the two days of questioning, defendant Phan Huy Chi repeatedly affirmed that there was no act of appropriating assets of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Insurance Corporation (PVI), but only late repayment. Payments are agreed upon by PVI and SME in the debt receipt and repayment plan.

Mr. Chi also submitted documents evidencing the payments, showing that the payments began in April 2011. Defendant said that “correctly made this record of debt receipt”. Accordingly, up to the time of being prosecuted, he was recorded by the Supreme People’s Procuracy to have paid more than 65 billion VND, which is more than the amount allegedly held by PVI – 58.8 billion VND.

In the second incident that happened at the Oil and Gas Union Finance Investment Joint Stock Company (PVIF), Mr. Chi stated that he is holding more than 3 million shares of PVIF and presented supporting documents. The defendant stated that the amount of more than VND 79 billion PVIF had disbursed to SME, of which part was used to pay for previous SME payments, used to buy the above shares.

At the trial, Mr. Chi and his subordinate Pham Minh Tuan, former General Director of SME, both declared that they did not personally use the above money.

“These are new facts that have arisen at the trial, but are not enough to determine whether the defendants appropriated PVI and PVIF’s assets and this cannot be clarified at the trial,” the chairman stated.

Defendant Pham Minh Tuan testified before the court, on the afternoon of May 9.  Photo: Danh Lam

Defendant Pham Minh Tuan testified before the court, on the afternoon of May 9. Image: Places

Therefore, in the upcoming period of additional investigation, the Trial Panel proposes to clarify two contents. Firstly, is there a record of debt confirmation, debt repayment plan between PVI and SME with 2 securities investment contracts signed on April 21, 2010? If so, how was it done?

Second, how is the number of shares of PVIF in the name of SME that defendant Chi is holding and the purpose of buying these shares, how is it related to the amount of more than 79 billion VND that SME receives from PVIF under the contracts?

According to the court, this clarification will help determine whether the defendants appropriated PVI and PVIF’s money and if so, how much, when and in what form? From here, the authorities will determine the criminal and civil liability between the accused and related subjects.

The indictment currently identifies, SMES was established in 2006, registered in securities business such as custody, financial and investment consulting, underwriting, proprietary trading and brokerage.

From April 2010 to March 2011, due to needing money for personal use and paying off old debts, Mr. Chi and some others used many fraudulent tricks such as “create customers, confirm , short-blocking the balance of highly liquid securities in the securities trading account”.

This behavior is accused of appropriating the Vietnam Oil and Gas Insurance Corporation (PVI) and PVFI, Habubank Hanoi with a total amount of nearly 300 billion VND.

According to the Supreme People’s Procuracy, the fact that Mr. Chi and his accomplices at SMES successfully carried out the fraudulent act of appropriating PVFI’s assets with the help, improper implementation and inadequate responsibility of the four defendants, the former leader leaders and officers at PVFI.

Of the six people charged with the crime of Fraudulent appropriation of assets, according to article 139 of the 1999 Penal Code, there are 5 former leaders and employees of SME including: former chairman of the Board of Directors Phan Huy Chi, former general director Pham Minh Tuan; former branch managers of Ho Chi Minh City Nguyen Thanh Nam and Nguyen Huy Son, Nguyen Phuong Lan.

Four former PVFI leaders were indicted on charges of Lack of responsibility causes serious consequences,according to article 285, Penal Code 1999, including: Chu Xuan Lai, former General Director; Le Xuan Tan, former deputy general director; Vu Xuan Cong, former deputy head of the Financial Services Department, and Vu Thi Hong Lan, former head of the Financial Services Department.

Thanh Lam

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