January 26, 2018 / 10:33 AM / 9 months ago

Vietnam arrests ex-chairman of state shipbuilding firm amid graft crackdown

HANOI (Reuters) - Vietnam has arrested a former chairman of state-owned Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (SBIC) for alleged abuse of power, police said on Friday, as the Southeast Asian nation cracks down on graft.

A spate of high-profile arrests has shed light on graft, mismanagement and nepotism in state firms at a time of accelerating privatisation, while spotlighting the ascendancy of a more conservative faction in the ruling Communist Party.

Nguyen Ngoc Su of SBIC, formerly known as debt-laden and troubled Vinashin, “abused his rank and position”, Vietnam’s Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on its website.

Su was accused of using Vinashin’s deposit in domestic lender Ocean Bank to make profits for some individuals at the shipping firm, police said.

Lending violations at Ocean Bank have sent dozens of people to jail and handed a death sentence to its former chief executive Nguyen Xuan Son - the first time in years that such a senior former official received the death penalty.

Son was also a former chairman of state energy group PetroVietnam, where Su was served as a vice chief executive.

A Hanoi court this week jailed a former politburo member for 13 years for violating state rules and sentenced another high-profile energy official to life in prison.

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by James Pearson and Clarence Fernandez

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