Truong My Lan's Death Sentence Could Negatively Affect Vietnam—Here's What Experts Explain

By Giuliano De Leon

Apr 12, 2024 01:10 PM EDT

Vietnamese business tycoon Truong My Lan's death sentence made huge headlines after a Ho Chi Minh City court confirmed it on Thursday, Apr. 11. 

Truong My Lan's Death Sentence Could Negatively Affect Vietnam—Here's What Experts Explain
Vietnam's property tycoon Truong My Lan arrives at a court in Ho Chi Minh city on March 5, 2024. A top Vietnamese property tycoon went on trial on March 5, 2024 along with dozens of others, accused of embezzling $12.5 billion in the country's biggest ever fraud case.
(Photo : Photo by -STR/AFP via Getty Images)

While others see it as a sign of clear governance in Vietnam, some experts are concerned regarding the adverse effects of Truong My Lan's death sentence in the country.

About Truong My Lan's Death Sentence

According to First Post's latest report, Truong My Lan, real estate firm Van Thinh Phat's chair, has been sentenced to death over a massive fraud scheme worth over $12 billion.

Her alleged fraudulent operation is nearly 3% of Vietnam's 2022 GDP, making it the largest financial fraud case in the country. Prosecutors said that Truong My Lan achieved this by working with thousands of ghost firms and paying bribes to government leaders.

Although death penalties are common in Vietnam, it is still rare to see a well-known individual being sentenced to death. If Truong My Lan is the largest financial fraudster, why are some experts concerned about her death sentence?

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Experts Concerned About Truong My Lan's Death Sentence

Numerous experts said that they are concerned regarding the negative consequences that Truong My Lan's death sentence may pose in Vietnam. Among them is a visiting fellow at the Vietnam Studies Program of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Nguyen Khac Giang.

After Truong My Lan's death sentence was announced, many businesses started complaining about "bureaucratic paralysis" since the billionaire's case could inflict fear among officials to do their jobs.

"Even approving a new project will take a lot of time because people are really afraid of making decisions," explained Giang via Time Magazine.

ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute senior fellow Le Hong Hiep said that her death sentence case could also make Vietnam counterproductive and overturned on appeal.

"The main point now is to recover the losses and maintain investor confidence in the judicial system and the economy," said Hiep.

"And giving her a death sentence does not help in either regard," he added.

Related Article: Vietnamese Billionaire Truong My Lan Sentenced to Death in One of the Biggest Corruption Cases in History

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