25 defendants of notorious OceanBank case appeal against first verdict

23:41 | 18/04/2018

Former chairman of OceanBank Ha Van Tham and 24 other defendants appealed against the Supreme People’s Procuracy first instance verdict.

25 defendants of notorious oceanbank case appeal against first verdict
Ha Van Tham, former chairman of OceanBank

This morning, on April 18, the Hanoi People’s Court began the appeal trial of Ha Van Tham, former chairman of OceanBank’s management board and other defendants.

Ha Van Tham and OceanBank’s former general director Nguyen Xuan Son have appealed against the court’s decision in September 2017 after being found guilty on the charges of “embezzling property” (Article 278 of 1999 Penal Code) and “abusing position and/or powers to appropriate property” (Article 280).

Nguyen Minh Thu, former deputy general director and chairman of the OceanBank management board, also appealed against being found guilty on the charge of “abusing positions and powers to appropriate property.”

Pham Cong Danh, former chairman of Thien Thanh Corporation, and Hua Thi Phan, former chairman of Phu My Investment Co., Ltd., have appealed against the whole first instance verdict.

The remaining 20 defendants also appealed. Some of the companies appealed against the orders to pay compensation.

However, five defendants (all former directors of OceanBank’s branches) withdrew several days ago. They were sentenced from 24 months of non-custodial re-education to 20 months of suspended imprisonment on the charge of “deliberately acting against the State’s regulations on on economic management, causing serious consequences” (Article 165 of the 1999 Penal Code).

25 defendants of notorious oceanbank case appeal against first verdict
Nguyen Xuan Son, former general director of OceanBank

The first instance verdict showed that in 2010-2014, Ha Van Tham directed his officers to spend nearly VND1.6 trillion ($70.5 million) on interest payments for some organisations and individuals without any contracts.

Nguyen Xuan Son supported Tham to implement and direct the spending of this amount. Additionally, Son was found to have received VND246 billion ($10.84 million) from Tham. VND49 billion ($2.16 million) of this came from Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam).

At the end of 2012, Ha Van Tham directed Nguyen Van Hoan to authorise a VND500-billion ($22 million) loan for Pham Cong Danh (former chairman of Thien Thanh Corporation) without any collateral. This violated the regulations of the State Bank of Vietnam on loans and caused a loss of VND500 billion ($22 million) to OceanBank.

Earlier, the Hanoi People’s Court sentenced:

  • Ha Van Tham to life imprisonment for offences under Article 278, 280, 179, and 165 of the 1999 Penal Code;
  • Nguyen Xuan Son to death for offences under Article 278, 280, and 165;
  • Nguyen Minh Thu to 22 years of imprisonment for offences under Article 165 and 280;
  • Nguyen Van Hoan to 22 years of imprisonment for offences under Article 280 and 179;
  • Pham Cong Danh to 14 years of imprisonment for offences under Article 179;
  • Hua Thi Phan to 17 years of imprisonment for offences under Article 179;
  • 42 remaining defendants from 24 months non-custody re-education to four years of imprisonment.

Additionally, Ha Van Tham has to pay VND800 billion ($35.24 million) in damages, Son VND300 billion ($13.2 million), and Phan VND500 billion ($22 million) to the bank.

Nguyen Huong

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