Former Vietsovpetro general director and chief accountant prosecuted

08:00 | 03/01/2019
The two defendants prosecuted by the Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam are Vietsovpetro’s leaders, former general director Tu Thanh Nghia (1962) and former chief accountant Vo Quang Huy (1961).
former vietsovpetro general director and chief accountant prosecuted
The two defendants are charged with appropriating millions of dollars from Vietsovpetro's accounts in OceanBank

The Supreme People's Procuracy of Vietnam has just completed indictment No.03/Ctr-VKSTC-V3 and assigned the Hanoi People's Procuracy to hold the trial of the case of “abuse of powers or position for appropriation of property” at Vietnamese-Russian oil and gas joint venture Vietsovpetro.

The two defendants were prosecuted for abusing their powers for the appropriation of property under Article 355 of the 2015 Criminal Code.

Vietsovpetro was established on June 19, 1981 through the Intergovernmental Agreements signed by Vietnam and the Soviet Union to co-operate in petroleum exploration and production on the southern continental shelf of Vietnam.

Since 1993, the Russian Federation took over the rights and responsibilities in Vietsovpetro. The company is currently operating under the Intergovernmental Agreement between Vietnam and the Russian Federation signed on December 27, 2010 to continue the co-operation until 2030, with the charter capital of $1.5 billion, in which the Vietnamese government accounts for 51 per cent ($765 million) and the Russian Federation for 49 per cent ($735 million).

Since the end of 2008, Vietsovpetro opened payment account and demand deposit contracts in OceanBank.

In 2009, implementing the direction of Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group to prioritise using the financial services of OceanBank, where PetroVietnam holds 20 per cent of the charter capital, Vietsovpetro signed many term deposit contracts, regularly maintaining a large balance on its payment accounts at OceanBank’s Vung Tau branch.

Particularly, from 2008 to 2014, Vietsovpetro signed 54 VND deposit contracts, depositing a total of VND13.2 trillion ($574 million), as well as 70 USD deposit contracts with the total value of $1.26 billion.

For demand deposits, Vietsovpetro opened four accounts (including three VND accounts and one USD account) at OceanBank with monthly balances between VND200-900 billion ($8.69-39 million) and $10-400 million. The interest of these four accounts paid by OceanBank amounted to more than VND49.7 billion ($2.16 million) and $595,300.

These interest payments, however, were channeled to five different individual accounts not owned by Vietsovpetro.

According to the guidelines and direction of Ha Van Tham (former chairman of OceanBank's Board of Directors), durring 2013-2014, Nguyen Minh Thu (former CEO of OceanBank) received money five times from individual accounts in the Vung Tau and Ho Chi Minh City branches. These interest payments were then transferred to Tu Thanh Nghia and Vo Quang Huy.

The Supreme People's Procuracy determined that, as a leader of Vietsovpetro, in 2013-2014, defendants Tu Thanh Nghia and Vo Quang Huy decided to transfer VSP’s money deposited in OceanBank, after which Nguyen Minh Thu (former CEO of OceanBank) paid the appropriated funds back to the two defendants.

Particularly, Vo Quang Huy received and appropriated VND6.7 billion ($294,304) and $130,000. Tu Thanh Nghia received and appropriated VND1.5 billion ($65,217) and $30,000.

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