United States bankers may rarely see the inside of a prison cell, but the Vietnamese are taking financial corruption far more seriously. Vu Quoc Hao and Dang Van Hai have both been sentenced to death by lethal injection after a trial lasting just nine days in Ho Chi Minh City.
"They were given the sentences for embezzlement of assets, mismanagement, abuse of power and fraud, [and] causing serious consequences to the state," reported state TV programming.
The sentence is part of a recent effort to clean up corruption, which has grown rampant in Vietnam.
Vu Quoc Hao, 58, was once the general director of Agribank Financial Leasing Company II, or ALC II. He was charged with embezzlement, abuse of power while on duty and “intentionally isolating State regulations on economic management and causing serious consequences.”
Dang Van Hai, 56, was once chairman of the Board of Members of Quang Vinh Co., Ltd. He was charged with swindling, abuse of power and isolating state regulations.
The two worked together, and caused the state to lose a total of VND531 billion, which amounts to about 25 million U.S. dollars.
The two were part of a broader trial that involved 11 defendants, all accused of financial corruption. The other defendants received prison sentences of 6 to 10 years.
The sentences are meant to set an example to others in hopes of reducing the incident of future crimes.
Said Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc Tuesday at an anti-corruption meeting in Hanoi, "There will be strict punishment for state cadres and officials who received bribes."
In the United States, only 17 banking executives were imprisoned for causing the 2008 financial collapse. Considering 463 banks have failed since then, the number represents a very small percentage of those responsible for injuring the national economy. Most of the imprisoned bankers worked at small banks, not the behemoths that likely caused the majority of the nation’s financial devastation.