The Vạn Thịnh Phát Case: SCB accused of colluding with Đông Phương group to lend 1.7 trillion, female leader claims nearly tripled

In response to the Court, former Deputy General Director of SCB, Ms. Tran Thi My Dung, testified that she disbursed funds to the Dong Phuong Group, but the money was used by Ms. Truong My Lan and Mr. Nguyen Thanh Tung (Chairman of the Board of Directors of Dong Phuong Company). The indictment stated that the amount disbursed to the Dong Phuong Group was 1,700 billion VND, but Ms. Dung said she remembered a higher figure, around 4-5,000 billion VND.


Trial of Vạn Thịnh Phát Group and Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB)

Today (March 12), the trial by the court of first instance of the defendants in the case involving Vạn Thịnh Phát Group, Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB), and related entities, allowed the participation of lawyers in questioning.

In response to questions from lawyer Phan Trung Hoài (Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association, defending Trương Mỹ Lan – former Chairman of Vạn Thịnh Phát Group), defendant Trần Thị Mỹ Dung (former Deputy General Director of SCB) confirmed that during the trial on March 11, she stated: “Disappointed with Ms. Trương Mỹ Lan,” and she affirmed this opinion without further explanation and then presented other contents.

Ms. Dung said that in order to be appointed as Deputy General Director of SCB, she asked Ms. Lan for help, and as for the dossier, it was proposed by the Board of Directors and the General Director.

Defendant Trần Thị Mỹ Dung (former Deputy General Director of SCB).

Ms. Dung also revealed that she only knows Ms. Lan and Ms. Lan’s daughters hold about 15% of the shares in SCB and are aware of Ms. Lan’s involvement in bringing assets and reorganizing SCB.

Ms. Dung testified that she did not participate in the restructuring, but she read the reports and knew that Ms. Lan brought assets into SCB. “SCB has undergone multiple phases of reorganization. In 2012, Ms. Lan brought assets in,” she said – Ms. Dung testified that from 2021 until now, she did not see Ms. Lan bring assets into SCB; the money did not leave the bank, instead, new loans were used to repay old debts.

Defendant Trương Mỹ Lan at the trial this morning. Photo: Duy Anh.

Regarding the Mũi Đèn Đỏ Project used as collateral, Ms. Dung said that the project covers an area of ​​about 117ha in District 7, Ho Chi Minh City; compensation started in 2003, and the 1/500 approval was granted in 2013.
Afterward, there were changes, so at the time of borrowing, this project did not have the approved investment proposal.

According to Ms. Dung, although it is true that the Mũi Đèn Đỏ Project still faces some legal issues, saying that this project has no value is not correct because the investor has compensated and carried out some construction items.

The defendants at the trial this morning. Photo: Duy Anh.

Regarding the loans of the Đông Phương Petroleum Joint Stock Company group (a group of 35 companies operating in the agricultural sector), Ms. Dung stated that all of them had loan contracts and borrowing purposes… but Ms. Lan and Mr. Nguyễn Thanh Tùng (Chairman of the Board of Directors of Đông Phương Petroleum Joint Stock Company) used the money.

Regarding the indictment that stated the disbursement amount for the Đông Phương group was 1,700 billion VND, Ms. Dung said that she remembers this amount to be much higher, about 4-5,000 billion VND.

During the trial on misconduct at Vạn Thịnh Phát Group, SCB, and related entities, defendants Nguyễn Thanh Tùng – Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Đào Chí Kiên – Deputy General Director of Phương Đông Petroleum Joint Stock Company (Phương Đông Petroleum Joint Stock Company) were accused of “Violating regulations on banking operations and other activities related to banking operations.”

The above-named defendants were accused of assisting Ms. Trương Mỹ Lan in unlawfully withdrawing money from SCB.

According to the prosecution, Phương Đông Petroleum Joint Stock Company has borrowing relationships with SCB. During this process, through Trương Khánh Hoàng, authorized General Director of SCB, Nguyễn Thanh Tùng became acquainted with Trương Mỹ Lan.

In May 2022, in order to continue withdrawing money from SCB, Trương Mỹ Lan agreed with Nguyễn Thanh Tùng to use Mr. Tùng’s group of companies to establish loan profiles of this bank, for use in various purposes.

Ms. Trương Mỹ Lan instructed Trần Thị Mỹ Dung – Deputy General Director of SCB to coordinate with Nguyễn Thanh Tùng to establish loan profiles and assets provided by her. In implementing the agreement, Nguyễn Thanh Tùng instructed Đào Chí Kiên and other individuals in the group to provide information on 35 companies to SCB employees to establish 37 loan profiles, with a total amount of more than 1,720 billion VND.

Among those, Nguyễn Thanh Tùng and Đào Chí Kiên directly managed and transferred information on 11 companies to SCB employees to establish 11 loan profiles, disbursing 443.6 billion VND for Tùng to use for tax payment of Phương Đông Company. As of October 17, 2022, the 11 loans had a total outstanding balance of more than 446 billion VND.

The indictment alleges that Nguyễn Thanh Tùng caused more than 850 billion VND in damages to SCB, and Đào Chí Kiên caused more than 356 billion VND in damages.

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