Vietnam tycoon sentenced to death could face new charges, state media says

Truong My Lan accused of illegally transferring $4.5bn in latest development in country’s biggest-ever fraud case.

Vietnamese property tycoon Truong My Lan
Vietnamese property tycoon Truong My Lan was sentenced to death for corruption [AFP]

A Vietnamese real estate tycoon sentenced to death for her role in the country’s biggest-ever fraud case is facing new charges for crimes including money laundering.

Truong My Lan, the head of developer Van Thinh Phat, was found by police to have illegally transferred some $4.5 bn in and out of the country, state media said on Thursday.

The Ministry of Public Security recommended that Lan be prosecuted for money laundering, fraudulent appropriation of property, and illegal transport of currency, the state-run Thanh Nien newspaper said.

Lan was in April sentenced to death after being found guilty of embezzlement, bribery and violations of banking rules after a high-profile trial in Ho Chi Minh City.

Lan, 67, was found to have illegally controlled Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB) between 2012 and 2022 in order to siphon funds through thousands of ghost companies.

Lan’s husband, Hong Kong billionaire Eric Chu Nap Kee, was handed a nine-year prison sentence over his involvement in the scam.

Lan, who denied the charges against her, has filed an appeal against her death sentence.

Prosecutors alleged that damages resulting from the scheme totalled $27bn – equivalent to 6 percent of the country’s economy.

Lan is among the most high-profile business figures ensnared in a crackdown on corruption dubbed Blazing Furnace.

The anticorruption campaign, which was launched in 2016 but has picked up pace in recent years, has been linked to the resignations of two presidents and resulted in hundreds of officials being disciplined or jailed.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies