September 27, 2017 / 1:28 PM / a year ago

Vietnam prosecutes bank executive, aides accused of $264 million fraud

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam has prosecuted a former bank executive and several aides and employees accused of pocketing 6 trillion dong ($264 million), police said on Wednesday, as the country intensifies a crackdown on fraud in the banking sector.

The Ministry of Public Security said in an online statement it had prosecuted Hua Thi Phan, former chief adviser of Vietnam’s Dai Tin Bank (TRUSTBank) with “abuse of confidence to expropriate assets”.

TRUSTBank later became Vietnam Construction Bank, whose former chairman received a 30-year jail sentence for illegal withdrawals.

Phan and nine employees and aides were banned from leaving home. Police issued warrants to arrest four others, while one was arrested earlier.

Hua Thi Phan was prosecuted in connection with the corruption trials of members of Ocean Group’s banking unit, whose founder, Ha Van Tham, and 50 other officials are awaiting their verdicts, expected this month.

Earlier in September, Vietnam accused a former deputy governor of State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) with “lack of responsibility”, as police investigate a SBV monitoring team at Construction Bank.

Vietnam’s banking sector is a major part of a sweeping high-level corruption crackdown in the communist state that has seen dozens of bankers on trial for graft and mismanagement.

Reporting by Mi Nguyen; Editing by Nick Macfie

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