VietNamNet Bridge – Asset recovery in civil lawsuits, particularly those relating to major economic corruption, remains low as authorities have found it difficult to verify the financial status of defendants, said Le Quang Tien, head of Ha Noi’s Department of Civil Judgment Enforcement.
|Asset recovery in civil lawsuits, particularly those relating to major economic corruption, remains low as authorities have found it difficult to verify the financial status of defendants. — Photo daibieunhandan.vn|
This was just one of the difficulties that civil judgment enforcement bodies faced when executing court rulings, Tien said at a press conference on Wednesday.
Ha Noi’s Department of Civil Judgment Enforcement was concentrating on ten major economic corruption cases in which defendants must return over VND269 billion (US$12 million).
“The assets that need to be recovered are huge, but the authorities have not been able to confirm if the defendants have sufficient funds to pay or not,” he said.
“In some cases, their assets are far below the sums they have to return, or the asset is shared with other parties.”
In May 2014, the People’s Supreme Court sentenced Duong Chi Dung, the former chairman of State-owned Vietnam National Shipping Lines (Vinalines) and Mai Van Phuc, its former general director, to death for embezzling VND10 billion ($474,000) each.
The defendants falsified the technical specifications of a 43-year-old, non-functional floating dock and overpaid for it, causing losses of about VND367 billion ($16.2 million) for the State, according to the indictment.
Dung was also ordered to compensate Vinalines VND110 billion, including VND10 billion for embezzlement and VND100 billion for “intentionally violating State regulations on economic management, causing serious consequences.”
However, up until now, relevant agencies have only been able to confiscate Dung’s “visible” assets, announcing that he was financially unable to pay any more compensation.
Referring to the Law on Civil Judgment Enforcement 2014, the enforcing body said that Dung did not meet the conditions for the court’s ruling to be executed.
“Only when Dung is confirmed to have other assets can we continue executing the court’s ruling,” Tien said, implying that an amount of about VND88.5 billion remains outstanding.
Tran Huu Chieu, the former deputy general director was also found guilty on the same counts. Chieu was sentenced to 19 years in jail and must pay compensation of VND39.16 billion, but as of now still owes VND38.4 billion.
Bui Thi Bich Loan, another defendant in the Vinalines case, was ordered to compensate Vinalines VND6 billion, but was found to own no assets and is currently receiving treatment for cancer in hospital.
Two months ago, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc signed Directive 05/CT-TTg on enhancing civil judgment enforcement. Accordingly, he directed authorities to uncover the assets of suspects in corruption cases in order to prevent them from being hidden and to help in executing judgments against the accused.
The Ministry of Public Security is asked to direct the nation’s investigative agencies to locate the assets and ensure the execution of judgments in crucial and complicated cases related to credit, banking and corruption.
The State Bank of Viet Nam was assigned to direct credit organisations to strictly assess clients’ property before lending them money and to closely co-ordinate with civil enforcement bodies on cases related to credit and banking.