Vietnamese financier faces life sentence

Posted On 21/12/2013

Nguyen Duc Kien, one of Vietnam’s most powerful financial figures, may face life sentence for violating state regulations on economic management.

Nguyen Duc Kien 

Kien has been charged with illegal business activities, extortion, asset appropriation, tax evasion and a breach of state regulations on international economic management.

On December 15, the Supreme People’s Procuracy filed the charges on Nguyen Duc Kien, the former head of Asia Commercial Joint Stock Bank (ACB). They also accused his six other high-ranking employees of ACB for economic mismanagement, which caused losses of over VND1.7 trillion (USD81.5 million).

In 2007, even though Kien was no longer the director of the board of ACB, he was acting vice-chairman of the council of founders of the bank. This council became consultants for the board of directors even though it was not approved by the State Bank.

In this position Kien had strong influence over operations, which allowed him to wield control over the securities market and own stakes in different banks at the same time. He also set up six companies, led by his family members.

Kien is accused of evading taxes, estimated at a total of VND25 billion in a deal between B&B Company and ACB where he earned more than VND100 billion.

As Chairman of the board of directors at ACB Investment, Kien is also said to have requested ACBI’s chief accountant, Nguyen Thi Hai Yen, to falsify documents to prove that ACBI had made an official decision to sell its stake in Hoa Phat Steel JSC to Hoa Phat Steel One-member Limited Company, in order to swindle VND264 billion from its partner.

Kien’s accomplices also allegedly asked ACB employees to withdraw over VND28 trillion and deposit the money into 22 other banks in order to take the interest on the deposits.

In August 2012, the sudden arrest of Kien sent a shock waves across the country, causing a drop in the stock market and troubles for the two football clubs owned by Kien.

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