Eight other officials of Vinalines, Vietnam’s state-owned national shipping company, are also standing trial. The charges relate to accusations of purchasing an old floating dock for an inflated price in 2008 and the subsequent embezzlement of 10 billion dong (US$474,000) each by Dong and Vinalines former general director Mai Van Phuc. The incident resulted in costs to the state of Vietnam exceeding US$17 million.
The sentence for embezzling over 500 million dong can be at least 20 years imprisonment or death. Dung, 56, fled to avoid prosecution but was apprehended in September 2012.
Vietnam’s national shipbuilder Vinashin has also had its share of scandal with the imprisonment of nine former executives in 2012 for deliberate violation of state regulations on economic management which resulted in losses of over US$43 million.
The Vietnamese government is cracking down on corruption, and Dong’s trial is one of six current and serious cases. Last month, a former banker and his associate were sentenced to death for embezzling US$25 million.