Business Tycoon Given Death Sentence Over Financial Fraud

( – A Vietnamese court sentenced to death real estate businesswoman Truong My Lan on April 10 in Ho Chi Minh City because of her role in a $12 billion financial fraud, which was the biggest one that the Asian country has ever experienced. Vietnam’s state media outlets reported that the trial started on March 5 and ended earlier than expected as the pieces of evidence shown against Lan were clear enough for judges to deliver a sentence.

Lan was the chairwoman of Van Thinh Phat Holdings, one of the main real estate developers in Vietnam. At the end of the mediatic trial, she was found guilty of numerous banking rules violations, embezzlement, and bribery.

The investigation and trial against the businesswoman and her company were part of an anti-corruption campaign that Vietnam’s communist dictatorship has been executing for years against local tycoons and some private businesses. The campaign is led by the Communist Party’s leader, Nguyen Phu Trong, who has been described by some political analysts as a radical.

Over the last few decades, Vietnamese authorities have been imposing death penalties over “economic crimes” and violent offenses. Some human rights organizations have claimed that “economic crimes” is a vague term that allows the Vietnamese regime to arbitrarily kill any private businessman who is considered a threat. Some groups have also claimed that Vietnamese authorities have killed hundreds of people through lethal injection.

According to some reports, many political leaders are worried about the radical path taken by the Vietnamese regime, which could lead to a political and economic crisis. Some economists even believe that the case of La would affect the Asian nation, as it would probably repel foreign investment in one of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

In the case against La, 84 other individuals received numerous sentences, which ranged from life imprisonment to probation. One of these was her husband, Eric Chu, who will spend nine years in prison.

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