Vietnam slams French fraudster in jail for life

24th August 2005, Comments 0 comments

HANOI, Aug 24 (AFP) - A 52-year-old French national was jailed for life and another handed a 16-year-term by a court in Vietnam's capital Wednesday for fraud and embezzlement, a judicial official said.

HANOI, Aug 24 (AFP) - A 52-year-old French national was jailed for life and another handed a 16-year-term by a court in Vietnam's capital Wednesday for fraud and embezzlement, a judicial official said.

Sapa Lavelua, 52, received the life term and a Frenchman of Vietnamese origin -- Phung Mung Luong, 66 -- got the lesser sentence while two Vietnamese nationals received 17 and 10-year terms, the official said.

"The three-day-trial ended Wednesday and representatives of the French embassy were present," the official said.

The four were accused of setting up a major network of firms across Vietnam, which they used to defraud local companies of a total of EUR 368,460 (US $450,000) by offering bogus credit lines in the name of fictitious firms based in the US and France.

Lavelua, originally from the Comoros islands, was arrested last year.

A French embassy spokesman said the mission was "following the case very carefully and also the preparations of the appeal trial considering the stiff sentences".

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, Vietnam, fraud, embezzlement, crime, Sapa Lavelua, Phung Mung Luong

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