Wed, 28 January 2015  00:22:25
Shipping Scandal
27 Sep, 2011 17:09:26
Executives accused over Vietnam shipmaker scandal
HANOI, September 27, 2011 (AFP) - Police in Vietnam have accused nine former executives at state-owned shipbuilder Vinashin of deliberately abusing their positions at the scandal-hit group, reports said on Tuesday.
Vinashin, officially known as Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group, racked up debts of more than $4 billion in a case that threatened the communist nation's global financial reputation.

After an initial probe, police allege the executives deliberately acted against state regulations on economic management, the state-controlled Thanh Nien newspaper reported. The charge can carry up to 12 years in prison.

Separate allegations of embezzlement are still being investigated, it said.

Police focused the first phase of their probe on the loss of more than $43 million. Most of the funds disappeared on projects to develop a high-speed passenger boat and a failed electricity plant, the report said.

The key suspect is Pham Thanh Binh, Vinashin's former chairman who was arrested in August last year. Prosecutors will now consider the initial police findings and decide whether to indict the suspects.

In December the company defaulted on the first $60 million instalment of a $600 million loan arranged by Credit Suisse in 2007.

The troubles sparked investor fears the scandal was symptomatic of wider problems at state-owned firms, a key part of the economy.

The government has said no political leaders will be punished for the problems at Vinashin, and the company is being restructured.

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