Vietnam shipping executives on trial for embezzlement
HANOI (AFP) - Former top executives at Vietnam's scandal-hit national shipping company Vinalines, whose huge debts shook investor confidence in the communist nation, went on trial on Thursday for embezzlement and defying state regulations.
The state-owned company nearly collapsed under some US$3 billion (S$3.8 billion) of debt, according to official media, one of several high profile scandals among huge national firms, which are a key pillar of the country's economy.
Former Vinalines chairman Duong Chi Dung, who fled the country to avoid prosecution but has since been apprehended, appeared at the Hanoi People's Court on Thursday with nine other officials, accused of causing losses of some 366 billion dong (S$22 million) to the state budget.
Four of them, including Dung, could face the death penalty on charges of embezzlement over the procurement of an old, broken Japanese floating dock, according to court president Ngo Thi Anh.