The accused Nguyen Van Hung
In August 2017, the State Bank of Vietnam’s inter-agency inspection team was established to audit the Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB), encompassing its main headquarters and 12 branches. Within the inspection team, most members received financial incentives from SCB to overlook any wrongdoings during the inspection process.
In the case involving Van Thinh Phat Group and SCB, apart from the accused Do Thi Nhan, former Director of the SBV's Banking Supervision and Inspection Agency II, who is alleged to have received a bribe of US$5.2 million from Truong My Lan, the investigation agency has revealed that the individual instructing Nhan to engage in actions covering up for SCB is, in fact, Nhan's superior.
Specifically, during the investigation, the accused Nguyen Van Hung, former Deputy Chief Inspector responsible for the Banking Inspection and Supervision Agency, stated that he was the decision-maker for the inspection at SCB. He directly endorsed and provided directives to the inspection team in 2017 and 2018.
The accused, Hung, also said that in the execution of his duties and responsibilities, he received reports from the inspection team and Do Thi Nhan to draft reports for presentation to the leadership of the SBV and the Government concerning the results of the inspection. According to the findings, the inspection results revealed the precarious financial state of SCB, meeting the criteria for special control. Numerous irregularities and violations were identified across most projects, indicating inadequate conditions to retain the structure of Group 1 debt, requiring the mandatory transfer of bad debts and the write-off of anticipated interest. Especially, violations related to a group of customers at the same address of No.4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street are extremely severe.
Nguyen Van Hung has admitted to instructing the submission of reports to SBV’s leadership and the Government with content that was not truthful and comprehensive regarding the financial situation of SCB. The accused, Hung, also acknowledged that he neither clarified the source of repayment funds for loans from 71 customers with the same address mentioned above nor recommended suspending disbursements. At the same time, he directed Nhan and the synthesis team to complete the draft inspection conclusions, which excluded certain content and did not propose actions against the wrongdoings of SCB.
At the investigation agency, Hung confessed to undertaking these actions to enable SCB to proceed with restructuring plans. As a result, the SBV and the Government lacked adequate information and documentation to guide the handling of misconduct at SCB and prevent criminal activities by Truong My Lan and her accomplices.
The accused Nguyen Van Hung admitted that he directed the entire process of modifying and refining the content of reports, which were found to be neither truthful nor comprehensive when compared to the inspection results and the reports submitted to SBV’s leadership and the Government. He personally instructed Do Thi Nhan and the synthesis team in carrying out these modifications.
Simultaneously, during the investigation, the accused Do Thi Nhan confessed that the entire process of modifying and refining the content of reports, which were found to be neither truthful nor comprehensive when compared to the inspection results, draft inspection conclusions, and the reports submitted to SBV’s leadership and the Government —all of which were directed by Nguyen Van Hung.
Due to the aforementioned actions, the Investigation Police Agency of the Ministry of Public Security has charged Nguyen Van Hung with the exploitation of his position for personal gain. He is accused of instructing Do Thi Nhan (Head of the inspection team), Nguyen Thi Phung (Deputy Head), and the synthesis team, including Nguyen Tuan Anh and Vu Khanh Linh, to draft, modify, and refine reports for the SBV and the Government. The content of these reports was found to be untruthful and incomplete regarding the ailing financial situation of SCB. Additionally, they concealed and failed to report violations or wrongdoing by SCB in various projects.
While carrying out the responsibilities as the decision-maker for inspections and as the Deputy Chief Inspector responsible for the Banking Inspection and Supervision Agency, the accused Hung confessed to receiving a total sum of $390,000 (equivalent to over VND8.7 billion) from SCB through Dinh Van Thanh (Chairman of the Board of Directors) and Vo Tan Hoang Van (CEO). During the investigation, Hung proactively disclosed this information and returned the entire amount of bribes he had accepted.
In the recently disclosed investigation findings of the Van Thinh Phat case by the Ministry of Public Security, Do Thi Nhan, former Director of the SBV’s Banking Supervision and Inspection Agency II, is accused of accepting $5.2 million. This bribery is denounced by the former Head of SCB.
The accused Vo Tan Hoang Van, former CEO of SCB, is facing three charges, including "Bribery," "Violating regulations on banking activities," and "Embezzlement of property," alongside Truong My Lan, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Van Thinh Phat Group.
In August 2017, an inter-agency inspection team comprising 18 members, including nine inspectors from the SBV, two officials from the State Audit Office, four officials from the Government Inspectorate, and three individuals from the National Financial Supervisory Commission, led by Do Thi Nhan, was formed to inspect Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB), encompassing its main headquarters and 12 branches.
Throughout the inspection process, the inspection team observed that the most significant misconduct at SCB was the bank extending credit to companies connected to Truong My Lan. The loan documentation revealed numerous discrepancies, including substantial loan amounts and a considerable risk of non-recovery.
During that period, Nhan discussed the violations at SCB in various projects with Vo Tan Hoang Van. Nhan emphasized the need to place SCB under "special control" and requested a meeting with Truong My Lan to seek clarification. Van proactively arranged for Lan to meet with Nhan.
Following the meeting, Lan directed Van and some employees to settle all loans (for the group of 71 customers at No.4 Nguyen Thi Minh Khai Street). The goal was to complete the settlements and report the remaining balances, preventing the inspection team from checking or verifying the actual customer status.
At the same time, Truong My Lan tasked Van with leading the SCB delegation to Hanoi to provide explanations of the inspection findings to Nhan. Subsequently, Nhan discussed with Van the significant violations of SCB. Through these discussions, Nhan agreed to confine the inspection scope to the outstanding balances of the group of 71 customers up to June 30, 2017, excluding any transactions occurring after this date.
With the assistance of Nhan, Truong My Lan instructed Van to repeatedly deliver money to Nhan, amounting to a total of $5.2 million (equivalent to over VND118 billion). Van would notify Lan each time money was transferred.
Van confirmed that the money provided to Nhan was under the direction of Lan. Van has filed a criminal denunciation of the act of receiving money by Do Thi Nhan.
After being charged and investigated, Nhan has returned the full amount of the bribe she received and is currently facing charges of "Accepting bribes."
Besides transferring money to Nhan, the accused Van also gave $390,000 to Nguyen Van Hung on various occasions from April 2016 to September 2018.