Monday, 25 Mar 2019
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PetroVietnam officials prosecuted for influence peddling

Updated at Thursday, 14 Mar 2019, 16:26
The Hanoitimes - A trio of oil officials have been accused of appropriating VND50 billion (US$2.2 million) in interests from PVEP’s deposits at Ocean Bank.
The People’s Supreme Procuracy on March 11 prosecuted top leaders of PetroVietnam Exploration Production Corporation (PVEP), the upstream arm of Vietnam National Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam or PVN). 
 
PVEP's former general director Vu Van Khanh. Photo: PVEP
PVEP's former General Director Vu Van Khanh. Photo: PVEP
PVEP’s former General Director Do Van Khanh, former Deputy General Director Vu Thi Ngoc Lan, and former Deputy General Director Nguyen Tuan Hung were prosecuted for influence peddling and property appropriation charges. 

The trio were accused of appropriating VND50 billion (US$2.2 million) in interests from PVEP’s deposits at Ocean Bank. 

In another move, the police are investigating the investment in a loss-making project costing US$1.83 billion in Venezuela by PVEP. 

The police are requesting PVN to provide all information and documents relating to the project on oil exploitation and upgrading of Junin 2 block off Venezuela coast which was launched in 2010. 

 
PVEP's former deputy general director Vu Thi Ngoc Lan. Illustrative photo
PVEP's former deputy general director Vu Thi Ngoc Lan. Photo: PVEP
Back to 2010, the project run by a joint venture with a state-run Venezuelan oil company covered an area of 522 square kilometers in Guarico, Venezuela. The project, in which PVEP held a 40% stake, was believed to bring about 50,000 barrels of oil per day and 200,000 barrels in the second phase, enabling PVEP to obtain the payback after seven years. 

In April 2013, PVN had to withdraw from the project after many financial experts warned that it would leave hefty losses.  

PVN suffered a loss worth US$500 million paid to the Venezuela partner without earning a penny. 

A number of PVN officials have been prosecuted for their wrongdoings over the past three years as the party chief-led anticorruption campaign seeks to regain trust of the people and restore the communist party's legitimacy.
Linh Pham
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