What to Know About the Businesswoman Sentenced to Death in Vietnam’s Largest Ever Fraud Case - Conservative Nation
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What to Know About the Businesswoman Sentenced to Death in Vietnam’s Largest Ever Fraud Case



In a landmark case that has captured national attention, Vietnamese real estate tycoon Truong My Lan was sentenced to death on Thursday for her involvement in the country’s largest financial fraud case.

The 67-year-old businesswoman, known for her leadership of a company that developed luxury properties across Vietnam, was arrested in 2022. She faced charges of fraud amounting to $12.5 billion, a figure that represents nearly 3% of Vietnam’s GDP for the same year.

Truong My Lan’s journey began in 1956 in Ho Chi Minh City, where she initially helped her mother, a Chinese businesswoman, sell cosmetics. In 1992, amidst Vietnam’s shift from a state-run economy to a more market-oriented one, she and her family established the Van Thinh Phat company, as reported by the Associated Press.

Over the years, VTP grew to become one of Vietnam’s most affluent real estate firms, with ownership of some of Ho Chi Minh’s most prestigious properties. Lan’s personal life saw her marrying Hong Kong investor Eric Chu Nap-kee, with whom she has two daughters.

The accusations against Lan involve her role in the 2011 merger of the Saigon Joint Commercial Bank (SCB) with two other lenders, a plan orchestrated by Vietnam’s central bank.

Lan is alleged to have illegally controlled the bank from 2012 to 2022, using it as a “cash cow” and employing thousands of “ghost companies” to secure loans for herself and her associates. The resulting losses from these loans amounted to $27 billion.

Additionally, Lan was accused of bribing government officials and violating banking regulations. The court’s decision to sentence her to death was based on the severe impact of her actions on individual property rights and the erosion of public trust in the leadership of the Communist Party and the state.

Lan’s arrest in October 2022 is part of a broader anti-corruption campaign in Vietnam, which has intensified since the same year. The campaign, known as the “Blazing Furnace,” has seen the resignation of former President Vo Van Thuong, among others, and is spearheaded by Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong.

The case has not only shocked the nation but also raised concerns about the potential for similar misconduct in other banks or businesses. This comes at a time when Vietnam is positioning itself as an attractive destination for businesses looking to diversify away from China, making the case all the more significant for the country’s economic outlook and investor confidence.

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