A Hanoi court on Thursday sentenced a former rising star in Vietnamese politics to 18 years in prison for embezzlement, following a 13-year sentence he had already received in January.
Dinh Thang, who was removed from the ruling Communist Party’s Politburo and fired as Ho Chi Minh City’s mayor in May, was convicted of “deliberately violating state regulations on economic management’’.
The violation of economic management had caused serious consequences for decisions made during his time as chairman of state-oil company PetroVietnam (PVN).
Thang was found to have broken the law when he allowed 20 per cent of the firm’s capital to be invested in Ocean Bank.
The investment was an ill-fated banking venture that resulted in the loss of more than 800 million Vietnamese dong (35 million dollars) for PVN, according to the verdict.
Under Vietnam’s laws on credit institutions, an institutional shareholder is not allowed to own more than 15 per cent of the charter capital of a credit institution.
Thang was forced to compensate 600 billion dong for PVN, according to the verdict.
Prosecutors at the Hanoi city court also handed sentences to six of Thang’s accomplices, ranging from a 15-month suspended sentence to 23 years in prison.
The sentence including Nguyen Xuan Son, the former CEO of Ocean Bank, who was already sentenced to death for his role in a fraud case involving millions of dollars of illegal loans at Ocean Bank.
Thang is already serving 13 years after he was found to have illegally awarded a PVN power plant contract without bidding.