Vinashinlines corruption trial underway in Hanoi

A trial is underway in Hanoi with four men accused of embezzling of around $11.5m from state-owned Vinashinlines. Three of the men held high up positions at the line a decade ago – including the former general director of the firm, its former chief accountant and the ex-head of sales. The three are joined in the dock by the father of the ex-sales head.

Prosecutors allege the four syphoned off cash when buying three ships for the line a decade ago. The four also profited by taking cash from nine ships it chartered in around a decade ago, the court was told.

A verdict is due at the start of next week. Hanoi tends to take a dim view of any corruption at state-run firms; a number of former executives at the country’s top shipbuilder were handed death sentences in other corruption trials in recent years.

Vinashinlines applied for court protection in 2014 – much of its fleet has since been sold.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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