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Vinalines officials prosecuted for embezzlement

Thursday, 09 February 2012 | 11:00
The general director of Vinalines Shipyard Company Limited, Tran Hai Son, and a department head of the same company have been arrested and indicted for embezzlement of the State’s assets, the Ministry of Public Security reported.
In addition to Son and Tran Van Quang, head of the company’s Planning Department, the police also detained Tran Ba Hung, deputy head of a department of Hyundai Vinashin, and Pham Ba Giap, director of Nguyen An Co Ltd, for the same charge.
The arrests were made yesterday as part of the police’s on-going investigation of an embezzlement case in Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) in relation to the purchase and repair of a floating dock for a project to build a shipyard in the South of Vietnam.
In June 2007, Vinalines set up the US$185 million shipyard project in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province. Four months later, the Vinalines management board chairman approved the purchase of a used floating dock that was manufactured abroad in 1965 at a total cost of $13.5 million, including $9 million as the buying price and the rest as the transport fee.
Vinalines later tasked the Vinalines Shipyard Company Limited to repair the dock. The company spent VND193 billion on the repair, including VND97 billion paid to Hyundai Vinashin Nha Trang and the rest to a number of other repairers.
The total repair cost in Vietnam was later found to be US$10 million higher than the total amount needed for buying, repairing and transporting the dock to Vietnam from abroad, investigators said.
The reason was that Son and Quang had required that Hung falsely increase the cost of welding steel in the account books by VND10,000 per kilogram compared to the actual price of the material.
They also colluded with each other to falsely increase the volume of welding steel in the books to appropriate the different amount.
To make the illegal scheme a success, Hung asked for help from Giap, who later prepared contracts and documents related to the purchase and payment of the welding steel.
With Giap’s help, Hung withdrew VND1.5 billion ($71,700) from a bank and then handed it to Quang. Hung also paid Giap VND50 million as reimbursement for his help.
The police are continuing with their investigation to determine how much the defendants had appropriated from the State budget.
Source: VNS
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