Vietnam Starts Criminal Proceedings Against Gia, Lao Dong Says

Vietnam has started criminal proceedings against Tran Xuan Gia, former chairman of Asia Commercial Bank, and three other officials for alleged economic mismanagement, Lao Dong newspaper reported on its website today.

Gia and the three former vice-chairmen of the bank, Le Vu Ky, Trinh Kim Quang and Pham Trung Cang, allegedly violated state regulations on economic management, the newspaper said quoting a police investigation unit. The former bank executives are cooperating with the investigation and have been ordered to stay at their residences, according to the report said.

The four individuals were allegedly involved in authorizing ACB employees to deposit funds at 29 different banks to enjoy higher deposit rates than the cap imposed by the central bank, the report said.

ACB, Vietnam’s biggest bank that isn’t owned by the government, said Gia and two deputies approved the deposit of 718 billion dong ($34 million) of the company’s funds at another bank. The board accepted their resignations on Sept. 18, the bank said in a statement Sept 19.

There was no response to calls by Bloomberg News to Gia’s mobile phone. Quang declined to comment when reached on his phone. Cang and Ky could not immediately be contacted for comments. Nguyen Tien Luc, deputy head of the Police Bureau for Crime Prevention, did not answer calls to his mobile phone. Nguyen Thanh Toai, deputy chief executive of ACB, said he had no comment because the executives concerned have left the bank.

Vietnam’s benchmark stock index closed 0.5 percent lower today. ACB lost 1.2 percent.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Diep Ngoc Pham in Hanoi at dpham5@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: K. Oanh Ha at oha3@bloomberg.net

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