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Vietnam Billionaire Truong My Lan Sentenced to Death in $12 Billion Fraud Case

A court in Vietnam has sentenced Truong My Lan, a property tycoon, to death for being the mastermind of a $12.5 billion financial fraud case, the country’s largest on record.

The staggering amount is equivalent to 3 percent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022.

Truong My Lan was the chief of the major developer Van Thinh Phat and was indicted for misappropriation, corruption, and violations of banking rules in a trial which had attracted huge media interest in Vietnam and around the globe. Lan has 15 days to appeal in a higher court against the verdict.

Death Penalty for Vietnamese Tycoon Truong My Lan in $12B Fraud Case

Truong My Lan, the 67-year-old builder and property tycoon, has been accused of siphoning off billions of dollars into ghost companies when she was controlling the Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB) between 2012 and 2022.

This cooking of the books was facilitated by bribing government officials. As already mentioned, the value of the misappropriation of funds amounted to a whopping 3% of the Vietnamese GDP, and prosecutors said they seized more than 1,000 properties belonging to Lan.

On the other hand, Lan has denied all the charges and instead blamed her subordinates. In her final statement, she said that she contemplated ending her life.

Lan stated, ‘In my desperation, I thought of death. I am so angry that I was stupid enough to get involved in this very fierce business environment – the banking sector – which I have little knowledge of.’

According to the State Media, Lan was awarded the harshest sentence because of the far-reaching ramifications of her actions. The money which was siphoned off has little chance of being recovered, and it has seriously affected the financial credibility of the nation, which was projecting itself as an attractive alternative to China for the manufacturing industry. Lan’s crime has eroded people’s trust in the leadership of the Party and State as well as its financial institutions.

In 2016, an anti-corruption drive was started and was christened ‘Blazing Furnace’. The drive gathered momentum after 2022, and Lan’s arrest in October 2022 was one of the most high-profile arrests. Succeeding months saw two presidents and two prime ministers being forced to resign, and hundreds of officials disciplined or jailed. ‘Blazing Furnace’ has signed the highest echelons of Vietnamese politics.

Along with Lan, 86 other individuals have been made defendants in the case, and it also included Lan’s husband, Hong Kong investor Eric Chu Nap-Kee, Lan’s niece Truong Hue Van. Most of the defendants have been handed out varying sentences ranging from three years to life imprisonment.

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Manoj Nair

Manoj Nair: With a decade of news writing across various media platforms, Manoj is a seasoned professional. His dual role as an English teacher underscores his command over communication. He adeptly covers Politics, Technology, Crypto, and more, reflecting a broad and insightful perspective that engages and informs diverse audiences.

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