Nguyen Duc Kien, a co-founder of Asia Commercial Bank, has been charged by investigators from the Ministry of Public Security for a number of wrongdoings, including extortion, tax evasion, asset appropriation and international breach of state regulations, writes Patrick Brusnahan.
Kien is one of eight former leaders of ACB that are facing these charges and will be trialled in June 2014 for ‘deliberately violating state regulations resulting in serious consequences.’
According to the investigators, Kien and the others provided ACB Securities Company, owned 100% by the bank, with $71 million to buy ACB stocks through two other companies owned by Kien. This violated Vietnamese stock laws and led to over $32.6 million in losses after the shares sharply declined in value.
In addition, Kien and his accomplices illegally changed interest rates by having ACB deposit nearly $34 million at the Ho Chi Minh City branch of Vietinbank. This created an interest rate of over 14%, even at a time when the central bank had set a cap on interest rates at 14%. Moreover, this deposit was later stolen by a former deputy chief of the risk management office, Huynh Thi Huyen Nhu, who is now in police custody.
Another violation was Kien’s company, B&B Trade and Investment Jointstock Company, taking part in $1.2 million worth of tax evasion.
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