Vietnam's Top Soft Drinks Tycoon Jailed for $40m Fraud

Vietnam’s Top Soft Drinks Tycoon Jailed for $40m Fraud

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In the latest high-profile fraud case in Vietnam, a prominent business figure has been ensnared in the country’s extensive anti-corruption campaign. The crackdown, aimed at eradicating widespread corruption, has resulted in over 4,400 individuals, including officials and senior business figures, facing criminal charges.

In a court ruling in Ho Chi Minh City, the 71-year-old chairman of Tan Hiep Phat beverage group, Thanh, along with his two daughters, was found guilty of defrauding investors through loans issued in 2019 and 2020. Thanh was implicated in orchestrating schemes to unlawfully seize assets pledged as collateral for loans, even after borrowers repaid the money with interest, by refusing to return the assets under various pretexts.

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Thanh’s 43-year-old daughter, Tran Phuong, the company’s deputy CEO, received a four-year jail sentence, while his younger daughter, Tran Bich, was handed a suspended three-year jail term. Tan Hiep Phat, a major beverage company in Vietnam renowned for its bottled tea and energy drinks, was at the center of this fraudulent activity.

In his closing remarks to the court, Thanh expressed remorse for the events and expressed readiness to be held accountable. He appealed for leniency, seeking the opportunity to reintegrate into society promptly to continue his work and dedication.

Judge Huynh Truc, delivering the verdict, emphasized that the defendants’ actions posed a threat to society, noting their deliberate commission of crimes despite awareness of the legal consequences.

Vietnam’s ongoing anti-corruption drive, spearheaded by Communist Party General Secretary Nguyen Trong, has seen numerous successful business leaders implicated in what has been described as a rigorous purge of corruption. Notable cases, including the recent sentencing of property tycoon Truong Lan to death for orchestrating a massive fraud, underscore the severity of the crackdown on corruption in the country.

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