Billionaire Truong My Lan arrested on charges of fraud, SCB bank reassures “No impact”

Billionaire Truong My Lan and her nephew Truong Hue Van were arrested by Vietnamese police on October 8, 2022.

Real estate billionaire Truong My Lan was arrested by the Vietnamese police on October 8, accusing her of committing fraud. On the same day, Saigon Bank (SCB) reassured depositors that the arrest did not affect the bank’s operations.

Many Vietnamese newspapers reported that the Ministry of Public Security decided to probe the case and detained Ms. Lan for “fraudulently appropriating property” related to the issuance, sale, and purchase of bonds of An Dong Joint Stock Company Investment Group.

Ms. Lan, born in 1956, is the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Van Thinh Phat Group Joint Stock Company and was determined by the authorities to “have fraudulently engaged in the issuance and trading of bonds in contravention of the laws to appropriate thousands of billions of dong from the people” in 2018 and 2019.

The police also probed and detained three people considered to be Lan’s accomplices. That is Truong Hue Van, born in 1988, General Director of Windsor Real Estate Management Group Joint Stock Company, also Mrs. Lan’s nephew; Nguyen Phuong Hong, born in 1984, an assistant at Van Thinh Phat Group Joint Stock Company; and Ho Buu Phuong, born in 1972, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tan Viet Securities Joint Stock Company, former Deputy General Director in charge of finance of Van Thinh Phat Group Joint Stock Company.

The Ministry of Public Security said that it is focusing on investigating and clarifying the crimes of the above accused, and aims to “thoroughly recover assets.”

Lan’s Van Thinh Phat Group has been owning the most favorable real estate in Ho Chi Minh City, worth trillions of dong.

Initially, Ms. Lan opened a limited liability company in 1992, operating in the field of trade and business of restaurants and hotels. Then, in 2007, the company expanded its investment and development into real estate, with the establishment of Van Thinh Phat Investment Group Joint Stock Company and An Dong Investment Joint Stock Company.

The arrest of Ms. Lan and related people shocked many customers who deposited money at SCB because there was word-of-mouth information that this bank was related to the investments of Ms. Lan and An Dong company. On the morning of October 8, a lot of people lined up to withdraw money at SCB.

In the afternoon of the same day, the State Bank of Vietnam held a press conference, in which the representatives of both the State Bank and SCB offered reassurances that SCB was not involved and was not affected by Ms. Lan’s arrest.

SCB confirmed that An Dong Company is not a shareholder of SCB and Ms. Truong My Lan does not hold a managerial or executive position at SCB. Therefore, the arrest does not affect the normal business operations of SCB.

Vietnamese newspapers quoted a representative of SCB as saying that “Saigon Bank is committed to having full solutions and resources to ensure the interests of depositors as well as the rights and interests of SCB’s partners and customers in accordance with the law.”

On the side of the State Bank, Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu replied to the press that the national bank affirmed that it will take measures to continue to ensure continuous and stable operations for SCB, and at the same time will solutions and policies in accordance with the law to ensure the interests of depositors at SCB.

We also advise people with deposits at SCB to be cautious before deciding to withdraw their deposits, especially those with early withdrawals, because then it will affect their rights to enjoy fixed interest rates at SCB,” Deputy Governor Dao Minh Tu said through press. (Translated)