Vietnamese Court Sentences Shipping Executives to Death for Embezzlement

Hanoi makes examples of executives in bid to stem growing resentment of high-level corruption

  • Share
  • Read Later

Former Vinalines Chairman Duong Chi Dung speaks during an interview at his office in Hanoi April 16, 2007.

A Hanoi court has imposed the death penalty on two disgraced executives from a national shipping company after they were convicted of embezzling millions of dollars from the beleaguered state-owned enterprise.

Sentenced were former Vinalines chief executive Mai Van Phuc and chairman Duong Chi Dung, who infamously fled the country in 2012 after Vinalines defaulted on loans worth more than $1.1 billion, nearly bankrupting the company. Duong was later apprehended by authorities in neighboring Cambodia and deported to Vietnam.

“All the defendants were (communist) party members but became rotten in their nature (and) need to be seriously punished before law,” said court president Ngo Thi Anh, according to the AFP.

Ordinary Vietnamese deeply resent corruption within Vietnam’s state-owned enterprises, which is believed to be widespread and is seen as responsible for years of tepid economic growth.

In a bid to calm simmering distrust in the country’s leadership, officials are set to send an additional 40 corruption cases to court during the next year, according to a televised national address from the Secretary General of the Communist Party Nguyen Phu Trong.

However, analysts warn that until a systemic overhaul of the country’s cumbersome state-owned companies is initiated, officials will struggle to contain corruption.