VietNamNet Bridge – The petition by the farmers, who are the creditors of Bianfishco, to the Can Tho City People’s Court, for conducting bankruptcy proceedings for Bianfishco, has been refused by the court.
Bianfishco’s huge debts put bankers on tenterhooks
On April 11, the lawyer, representing tens of the farmers, who are the creditors of Binh Anh Seafood Company (Bianfishco) filed a petition to the Can Tho City People’s Court, requesting to conducting bankruptcy proceedings for Bianfishco.
Lawyer Nguyen Thi Hong Ngan from the HCM City Bar Association, authorized by 20 farmers, said that the court’s officer refused to handle the case, because the Bianfishco’s case has been assigned by the Can Tho City People’s Committee to the debt settlement taskforce.
Nguyen Van Chien, a farmer, to whom Bianfishco owes 7 billion dong, said that as a creditor, he has the right to ask the court to open bankruptcy proceedings for Bianfishco. Chien and other fish farmers have also requested the court to consider the personal responsibility of Pham Thi Dieu Hien – General Director of Bianfishco, in order to settle the debts of the company soon.
As the Can Tho City People’s Committee refused to handle the case, creditors flocked to the reception room of the Can Tho City People’s Committee’s office, asking for the intervention of the local authorities.
Lawyer Nguyen Truong Thanh from Van Ly Law Office in Can Tho City said that it is impossible to request to declare Bianfishco’s bankruptcy now, because there has been no audited report about the total assets and debts of the seafood company. Thanh said that the Can Tho City People’s Court has made a reasonable decision to refuse the petition by farmers.
Lawyer Nguyen Van Duc from the Can Tho City Bar Association also thinks that the cautiousness by the city’s court is a necessity, though farmers have the legitimate aspirations of requesting the court to declare Bianfishco’s bankruptcy.
Bianfishco will be considered for bankruptcy only when financial reports show that its total debts are higher than the total assets’ value. Meanwhile, no official figures have been released so far.
Can Tho City’s Mayor Nguyen Thanh Son said on April 11, that farmers have the right to petition for conducting bankruptcy proceedings. However, he said the Prime Minister has not released any instructions about the case, since the day Can Tho authorities submitted the report about Bianfishco’s debts.
Bianfishco, the company of Pham Thi Dieu Hien, a well-known businesswoman in the south, was exposed in February 2012, after her son’s luxurious wedding which caught the special attention from the public with the “demonstration” of a series of luxurious cars running from HCM City to Can Tho City. It was estimated that the wedding cost multi billions dong.
While the wedding formalities were taking place inside Hien’s residence, a lot of farmers gathered outside the residence asking Hien to pay debts.
Just several days after the weddings, Hien left Vietnam for Singapore to have healthcare services as informed by her husband, who has taken the office as Bianfishco’s General Director during the time Hien is away.
When asked how to deal with the debt worth more than one trillion dong, the husband said that he would sell factories to pay debts. Bianfishco’s workers have been told to stay off work for indefinite time, while the General Director has many times defaulted on paying debts to farmers.
Prior to that, local newspapers, quoting some lawyers, predicted that farmers would not ask for conducting bankruptcy proceedings for Bianfishco, because farmers may not be able to collect debts if Bianfishco bankruptcy is declared. Commercial banks were believed to get the priority in recovering debts.