HOME MOVIES SERIES MUSIC NEWS XXX Vietnam Sentences Billionaire to Death for White Collar Fraud Vietnam Sentences Billionaire to Death for White Collar Fraud

Vietnam Sentences Billionaire to Death for White Collar Fraud

 The trials of Tru'o'ng Mỹ Lan and 84 others are part of an anti-corruption campaign led by the head of Vietnam's Communist Party.

As global billionaires see their wealth soar to record heights, one Vietnamese real estate tycoon was sentenced to death on Thursday in the Southeast Asian nation's largest-ever financial fraud case, part of a government crackdown on corruption.

Tru'o'ng Mỹ Lan, founder of the real estate developer Vạn Thịnh Phát Group, was arrested in October 2022 for illegally controlling and embezzling money from Saigon Commercial Bank (SCB) for a decade after a 2011 merger she arranged.

"Lan embezzled $12.5 billion, but prosecutors said Thursday the total damages caused by the scam now amounted to $27 billion—a figure equivalent to 6% of the country's 2023 [gross domestic product]," according toAgence France-Presse. "The court ordered Lan, 67, to pay almost the entire damages sum in compensation."

The BCCreported that "according to prosecutors, over a period of three years from February 2019, she ordered her driver to withdraw 108 trillion Vietnamese dong, more than $4 billion in cash from the bank, and store it in her basement. That much cash, even if all of it was in Vietnam's largest denomination banknotes, would weigh two tonnes."

AFP spoke with one of the 42,000 victims of the scandal identified by authorities:Human rights advocates consider Vietnam to be a global leader in death penalty sentences and executions, though data on the topic are considered state secrets, so precise figures are not known.

"From January to early October 2023, at least 189 people have been sentenced to death in Vietnam," The Vietnamese Magazinereported last year, citing state media reports. Among them, "44 were convicted of murder (23%), while the remaining 145 (77%) were involved in illegally trading or transporting narcotic substances."

Amnesty International, which opposes the death penalty in all cases, released its latest annual report on sentences and executions worldwide last May. While noting the Vietnamese government's limits on official data, the group found that in 2022, there were at least 102 sentences handed down and over 1,200 people on death row in the country.

"The death penalty in Vietnam is used to intimidate those who would break the law, while also showing the power of the ruling party," Human Rights Watch's Asia deputy director Phil Robertson told CNN in 2022. 

"This is a government that chases down dissidents, runs roughshod over civil society, sentences and imprisons people after kangaroo court trials, and now we know, executes far more people than anyone else in [the region]."

"Vietnam's horrendous record of executions dwarfs that of any of its neighbors but it is not surprising that the government has systematically implemented the death penalty and kept executions out of the public eye," Robertson added.


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