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VOA 영자신문
▶Vietnamese Woman Accused of $12.5 Billion Fraud (2024-04-19)
A major property investor in Vietnam, Truong My Lan, is on trial over an accusation of fraud amounting to $12.5 billion. That is nearly 3 percent of the country’s 2022 total economic production and the largest financial fraud case on record.
Lan is the 66-year-old head of the property company Van Thinh Phat. The company was one of Vietnam’s biggest property companies and its projects include homes, offices, hotels, and business centers.
A government document says she reportedly used “thousands of ghost companies,” paid bribes to government officials, and broke banking laws. She is accused of illegally controlling the Saigon Joint Stock Commercial Bank from 2012 to 2022 and using it to steal $12.5 billion, the document adds.
Another 85 people are being charged in the case, including a former State Bank of Vietnam official accused of accepting $5.2 million in bribes. Lan was arrested in October 2022 and could be executed if found guilty.
Officials brought Lan to a Ho Chi Minh City courtroom on Tuesday morning. Her husband Eric Chu Nap-kee, who works in property investment in Hong Kong, was also asked to appear in the case, VN Express reported.
Lan’s arrest is part of an ongoing anti-corruption drive that brought thousands of officials and business leaders under investigation. In January 2023, then-President Nguyen Xuan Phuc and two top officials resigned for “political responsibility” of corruption dealings during the pandemic.
But observers said the anti-corruption drive has also worsened Vietnam’s economic outlook and concerned foreign investors. It came at a time when the Southeast Asian nation has been trying to get businesses to move from China.
Linh Nguyen is the lead researcher for Washington D.C.-based Control Risks. She said it is the size of Lan’s alleged fraud that has been surprising.
“More than 3 percent of the GDP is very large,” Nguyen said. GDP, or gross domestic product, is how much a country produces in one year. She added that it also raised questions about whether other banks and businesses had “done the done the same (and) just haven’t been discovered.”
The anti-corruption drive has also resulted in Vietnam’s government slowing down. A report from Singapore’s ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute says that public officials are concerned about being investigated and are avoiding their responsibilities.
And Nguyen said that investors in banking, finance, and property investment are also taking a “wait and see” position at the moment.
Last year, local media reported that 1,300 property companies withdrew from the market and developers have been offering price reductions and gold to bring in buyers.
But Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong, Vietnam’s top politician, said in November that the anti-corruption fight would “continue for the long term.”
[March 05, 2024]
뉘앙스 사전
뭔가 좀 같이 하자고 하면 꼭 말도 안 되는 핑계를 대는 친구가 있다고요? 친구한테 영화 보자고 했다가 자기는 영화 보는 거 안 좋아한다고 딱지맞았다고요? 그럴 땐 딱 이거 하자, 저거 하자고 하지 말고 그냥 두루뭉술하게 ‘Do you want to see a movie or something?’ 이런 식으로 말해보세요. 이렇게 말하면 ‘영화 같은 거 볼래?’나 ‘영화 보거나 뭐 다른 거 할래?’라는 의미가 되거든요. 여기서 ‘~ or something’은 ‘~가 아니면 다른 무언가’라는 의미예요. 이렇게 말하면 뭔가를 딱 한 가지 하자고 하는 게 아니라 다른 무언가도 할 수 있다는 의미를 내포하게 돼요. 그래서 상대방이 위의 질문에 ‘I don’t want to see a movie. (난 영화 보고 싶지 않아.)’라고 하면 ‘Then let’s go shopping. (그럼 쇼핑하고 가자.)’이라고 하면 되고, 그것도 싫다고 하면 ‘Then let’s play games. (우리 게임하자.)’ 이런 식으로 꼬리에 꼬리를 무는 질문으로 상대방이 빠져나갈 수 있는 범위를 점점 좁혀가는 거예요. ㅎㅎ 싫다고 하는 것도 한두 번이지, 설마 세 번, 네 번 계속 싫다고 거절하겠어요? 몇 가지 예제를 더 드릴게요. 만약 친구 눈탱이가 밤탱이가 됐을 때는 웃음을 꾹 참고 ‘Did your girlfriend hit you or something?’이라고 하면 ‘네 여친이 너 때리기라도 한 거야?’라고 물으면 되겠고, 비가 내리기 시작하자 친구가 갑자기 이상한 주문 같은 걸 외우며 토끼처럼 껑충껑충 뛰어다니는 걸 보게 되면 옆에서 혀를 끌끌 차며 ‘Are you crazy or something? (너 미치기라도 한 거야?)’이라고 한마디 던져주면 딱~이겠죠? ㅋㅋ case 1 A: If you’re not doing anything tomorrow, let’s get together and see a movie or something. B: Yeah, sure. A: What time do you want to get together? B: Any time is fine with you. You decide. A: 내일 아무것도 안 하면 만나서 영화 같은 거나 보든가 하자. B: 그래, 그러자. A: 몇 시에 만날까? B: 아무 때나 상관없어. 네가 정해.