The Vietnamese government has paid tens of millions of dollars in compensation to the “spring roll king” Trinh Vinh Binh according to a ruling by the International Arbitration Court in Paris in April 2019 but refused to return his assets in Vietnam, the Vietnamese Dutch told Radio Free Asia (RFA) this information on April 20.
In 2015, Mr. Binh sued the Vietnamese government to the International Arbitration Tribunal in Paris, demanding $1.25 billion in compensation for violating investment laws related to the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between the Netherlands and Vietnam and violated human rights for his illegal arrest. The court subsequently ruled, demanding that Vietnam pay Mr. Binh $37,581,596 in damages and nearly $ 7.9 million in court fees. Mr. Binh confirmed the payment information in an interview with RFA on April 20 as follows:
“The amount of that partial judgment has been paid by the Government of Vietnam. I would like to emphasize that the Government of Vietnam has paid.”
Mr. Binh said the amount of money the court gave in the ruling was only part of the total amount of damages that he claimed to the Government of Vietnam.
“In 2015, I brought this case to the International Court with the claim amount of over $1.25 billion, but when the decision was made, only a part of it was declared. In addition, there is a large part outside the verdict declared on April 10, 2019.”
Mr. Binh further explained about the rest of the $1.25 billion he claims for compensation:
“Because of the assets at that time we claimed to be up to $1.25 billion or more, but when it came to the judgment, the international court ruled only a part of it, and many parts I think were after a time. Now I have not been revealed. Time after we start working on further claims we will announce.”
This is the second lawsuit filed by Mr. Trinh Vinh Binh against the Government of Vietnam after the lawsuit in 2003 when Mr. Binh asked the Vietnamese side to compensate more than $150 million. The first case then reached an out-of-court agreement under which the Vietnamese would pay compensation to Mr. Binh in exchange for Mr. Binh’s withdrawal of the lawsuit. However, Mr. Binh said he did not receive the promised money and that the Government of Vietnam did not fulfill his promise of returning his assets remaining in Vietnam.
Millionaire Trinh Vinh Binh, who is famous in the Netherlands for wholesaling spring rolls to supermarkets, once used his $3 million to invest in Vietnam at the end of 1987. However, in 1998, authorities in the southern province of Ba Ria-Vung Tau arrested him with allegations of bribery and violation of regulations on the management and protection of land. He has detained for 18 months 20 days and one year and six months probation. In 1999, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison and confiscated all of his property.
Mr. Binh said that he still has some assets in Vietnam but did not specify what those assets were and how much they were worth. He estimated the amount of damage he suffered due to Government violations at current prices to $2.5 billion.
Mr. Binh said he continued to ask the Government of Vietnam to return to him property confiscated by the state but so far has no results:
“I have contacted the Vietnamese government to continue reclaiming property. Once the Vietnamese government contacted me to make the conditions but then fell silent. I received the latest documents that they refused. ”
In a recent interview, Mr. Binh said he was promoting at least two new lawsuits against the Government of Vietnam but did not specify what the contents of these lawsuits were. Talking about the compensation portion of the latest ruling, he said:
“The part they compensated was not enough, compensating only a part, I continued to claim because these are the assets that I have invested for many years in Vietnam.”
When asked about the possibility that he would return to invest in Vietnam in the future, Mr. Binh said:
“In fact, Vietnam is increasingly open to the legal aspect. But when there is contact, in reality, Vietnamese law enforcement agencies do not comply with the provisions of the law. This is a painful problem.”
Minister – Chairman of the Office of the Government of Vietnam, Deputy Prime Minister Mai Tien Dung once told the domestic press after news of Mr. Binh’s case to the International Arbitration Court in 2017 that: Government, the Prime Minister is to create a very equal business environment for foreign businesses to enter the country. Currently, international courts are considering, with the dispute, the violation of the law. As the newspapers all know, because of the issue of investment protection, a locality or an agency violates or fails to comply with commitments or does not comply with the law, foreign investors will sue the Government.”
Mr. Binh said that he still does not believe in the investment environment in Vietnam and this is a hindrance to him when making investment decisions in Vietnam.
“Once the legal corridor in Vietnam is not good, I do not think and do not want to return to invest in Vietnam,” said Mr. Binh.