A senior corporate executive found dead at the weekend and linked to one of the nation's biggest fraud scandals knew he was about to be arrested, reports said yesterday. Nguyen Van Ha had been visiting temples seeking guidance after police tagged him as a middleman in a series of fraudulent loans, the Thanh Nien newspaper reported. The body of Ha, deputy director of the scandal-plagued Minh Phung garment conglomerate, was found on Saturday in a lift engine room on the top floor of Ho Chi Minh City's Incombank headquarters. Mystery and confusion continue to surround his death. Police have not ruled out suicide and press reports have hinted at foul play. An autopsy has yet to be completed. Earlier reports hinted that Ha's death was not suicide, quoting guards as saying the lift room was on a terrace and locked from the outside. Bank officers, alerted by a foul smell, unlocked the door to find Ha slumped against an electrical circuit board. His face was partially blackened and wiring had been wrapped around his head and neck. He told his wife last Wednesday he was going away for five days. Ha, 44, a former official at the state-owned Vietcombank, had avoided direct implication in a bank-loan scam that has seen 23 fellow executives arrested, including high-flying chief and founder Tang Minh Phung. The firm is accused of using backroom influence to obtain loans in the early 1990s, with state asset losses as high as US$400 million (HK$3.09 billion) suggested.