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Ha Van Tham

Ha Van Tham, one of Vietnam’s richest business tycoons, has been arrested on suspicion of lending fraud, authorities say.

Ha Van Tham, a former chairman of the private Ocean Bank, was taken into custody in Hanoi on October 24, the ministry of interior said in a statement.

Vietnam’s Central Bank also announced on October 24 that it had suspended Ha Van Tham from his bank chairman role.

Ha Van Tham also owns significant stakes in hotel and real estate businesses.

His personal wealth is estimated to be several billion dollars.

Local media reported that Ha Van Tham could be held for up to four months pending further investigations.

Ha Van Tham is one of Vietnam's richest business tycoons

Ha Van Tham is one of Vietnam’s richest business tycoons

The Central Bank said Ha Va Tham was “personally responsible” for some serious violations of the law but did not give further details.

Shares in Ocean Group have fallen by several percentage points since October 22.

The Vietnamese government has vowed to clamp down on fraud and embezzlement.

In June, another one of Vietnam’s richest men, Nguyen Duc Kien, was sentenced to 30 years in jail for tax evasion and illegal trading.

In Nguyen Duc Kien’s case, observers have suggested that the charges against him were a result of an attempt to weaken the position of Vietnamese PM Nguyen Tan Dung, an associate of Kien.

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