Death sentence proposed for former shipping official

The Hanoi People’s Procuracy has proposed a death sentence for Giang Kim Dat, a former official at a subsidiary of Vietnam’s Ship Building Industry Corporation, or Vinashin, a state-owned shipbuilding giant.

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Dat, 40, who used to be a sales manager at Vinashin Ocean Shipping Company Ltd, or Vinashinlines, was accused of embezzlement and money laundering along with another eight former officials at a trial on February 18. The eight other defendants were likely to face between eight years to life in prison

During the trial, it was recommended that Tran Van Liem, former general director of Vinashinlines, receive a life sentence, while Tran Van Khuong, the company’s ex-chief accountant, face a 20-year jail term for his involvement in the corruption.

According to the indictment, from July 2006 to March 2007, as general director of the company, Liem signed contracts to buy three foreign ships, Vinashin Summer, Vinashin Island and Vinashin Phoenix, and authorised Dat to negotiate with the foreign partners.

The city People’s Procuracy also decided that Giang Van Hien, Dat’s father, would likely be put behind bars for eight to nine years for money laundering. Dat fled the country in 2010, when authorities commenced legal proceedings against him and many officials for their wrongdoings in a corruption case at the shipbuilding giant that caused a loss of about US$43.5 million, as calculated in 2012, to the state coffers.

He was arrested on July 7, 2015.

Liem, Dat and Khuong conspired with ship owners to rig prices and earn profits, pocketing around VND249 billion (US$11.06 million) from May 2006 to June 2008.

Dat received a commission of between 2 and 3.75 per cent of the total contract value for each transaction, which was transferred to a bank account in Hien’s name, investigators said.

In total, the trio “abused position and power” and misappropriated around VND260 billion (US$11.56 million), the indictment said. Liem misappropriated VND3.1 billion (US$138,000), while Dat and Khuong embezzled around VND255 billion (US$11.34 million) and 110,000 USD, respectively.

The police found that after money was transferred to his bank account, Hien withdrew money for Dat to buy some 40 villas and luxury apartments as well as 13 cars in his or his relatives’ names. 

At the trial, the defendants pleaded not guilty, affirming that the prosecution against them was wrongful.

As one of the major corruption cases ordered to be brought to trial as soon as possible by the Central Steering Committee for Anti-Corruption, the trials of Dat and his accomplices has attracted a great deal of attention from the public.

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