Vietnam, 22 April, 2024 Vietnam’s judiciary has delivered a severe verdict in the country’s largest financial fraud case, sentencing property tycoon Truong My Lan to death. The trial, held in Ho Chi Minh City, concluded with Lan, chair of major developer Van Thinh Phat, being found guilty of embezzlement, bribery, and violations of banking regulations. Her involvement in a $12.5bn scheme, which spanned from 2012 to 2022, saw her illegally control the Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank (SCB) to siphon funds through numerous ghost companies and bribes to government officials.

Lan’s actions, which accounted for about 3 percent of Vietnam’s GDP in 2022, resulted in the seizure of over 1,000 properties. Despite denying the charges and attributing blame to subordinates, Lan’s sentencing reflects the severity of her orchestrating a sophisticated criminal enterprise. The court emphasized the irreversible consequences of her actions, stating that the funds were unlikely to be recovered.

Lan’s arrest in October 2022 was a significant development in Vietnam’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign, known as the Blazing Furnace. This campaign has targeted high-ranking officials, resulting in resignations of presidents and prime ministers, along with disciplinary actions against hundreds of officials. Lan’s husband, Eric Chu Nap-Kee, and niece, Truong Hue Van, were also implicated in the fraud case, highlighting the widespread nature of corruption within the family’s business empire.

The scale of this financial crime has drawn international attention, with analysts noting the unprecedented level of transparency in exposing corruption within Vietnam. While some speculate political motivations behind the crackdown, there is a consensus on the urgent need to address systemic corruption and fraud to uphold trust in the country’s leadership and financial institutions.


Merry Gel Sigui

A multimedia journalist focused on producing articles about controversial global issues specifically on business, economy, politics, and technology. A strong believer in freedom of the press and exposing the wrong. only through engagement and communications can we as humans evolve. An accredited member of a leading local broadcast media organization.