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Vietnam property tycoon held for alleged fraud

October 09, 2022 00:00:00

HANOI, Oct 08 (AFP): A Vietnamese property magnate who heads up the Van Thinh Phat group is in police custody facing fraud allegations, authorities said on Saturday.

Company chairwoman Truong My Lan, 65, is married to a wealthy Hong Kong businessman and comes from "one of Vietnam's richest families", according to state media.

Van Thinh Phat was founded in 1992 and its property portfolio includes high-end hotels, restaurants and luxury apartments.

Police detained the financier on Friday and are investigating allegations of "illegally issued and traded company bonds" in 2018 and 2019, the public security ministry said in a statement Saturday.

Three other high-ranking executives at the company were also arrested over the same accusations.

The investigation is continuing and the group's "assets will be resolutely confiscated", the statement said.

The multi-billion dollar group's website could not be accessed Saturday.

As news of the arrest spread, hundreds of people in Hanoi lined up outside the group's bank on Saturday to withdraw their savings.

The State Bank of Vietnam later assured customers it would implement measures to "maintain the bank's stability".

Vietnamese authorities are cracking down on corrupt officials and members of the country's business elite in recent years.

In March, authorities arrested FLC entrepreneur Trinh Van Quyet for stock market manipulation.

The FLC empire includes luxury resorts, golf courses and the budget Bamboo Airways.

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