Vietnam jails magnate 13 years for graft

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HANOI (AFP) – A Vietnam shipbuilding magnate has been sentenced to 13 years in jail for embezzlement, according to state media, the latest victim of an unprecedented anti-corruption drive in the communist country.

Scores of bankers, businessmen and current and former officials have been jailed in the crackdown that has gathered steam since 2016 when a conservative administration came to power vowing to stamp out graft.

Endemic corruption is rampant in Vietnam – one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economies – with graft cascading from everyday business deals to the upper echelons of government.

The current administration has widened its drive to target mismanagement in the oil industry, the security services and the banking sector.

On Wednesday a court in Hanoi jailed Nguyen Ngoc Su, the former board chairman of state-run Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group (Vinashin), for “abusing position and power to appropriate assets”, according to state press.

Former director Truong Van Tuyen was jailed for seven years on the same charges, while an ex-deputy director Pham Thanh Son got six years.

The men were convicted for depositing Vinashin capital into Ocean Bank without the Prime Minister’s approval, as required by law.

The court said they colluded with the bank to pocket $4.5 million.

“The defendants’ acts were very serious,” said Cong An Nhan Dan, the official mouthpiece of the Ministry for Public Security.

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