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Confiscation of proceeds of crime in Vietnam: improving the legal framework

Thu Thi Hoai Tran (Senior Analyst, Anti-Money Laundering Department, State Bank of Vietnam, Hanoi, Vietnam)
Louis De Koker (La Trobe Law School, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Money Laundering Control

ISSN: 1368-5201

Article publication date: 26 February 2021

Issue publication date: 31 July 2021

408

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the Vietnamese laws and practices concerning the confiscation of proceeds of crime, especially in view of Vietnam’s obligations to meet the international standards on money laundering and terrorist financing, set by the Financial Action Task Force and relevant international conventions that Vietnam ratified. To limit the scope of this paper, the analysis focuses on the confiscation of proceeds of domestic crimes that do not require international legal assistance. This paper concludes with recommendations for improving the legal framework on criminal asset recovery in Vietnam.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a doctrinal study that considers the applicable legal framework. This study is supported by brief case studies of major cases involving the confiscation of proceeds of crime.

Findings

Vietnam has a functioning asset confiscation regime but gaps in the law, lack of financial investigation expertise and lack of focused investigative attention on asset preservation and confiscation are hampering its effectiveness. The key gaps can easily be closed with appropriate amendments to the law. These reforms should be combined with a dedicated skills development program to produce sufficient number of financial investigation experts and criminal asset management experts to support the regime. The training should extend to judicial officers to ensure an appropriate understanding of the asset confiscation law. Reforms such as these should follow on a comprehensive review of Vietnam’s law and practices relating to the confiscation and forfeiture of criminal assets. This review should extend to assets linked to the financing of terrorism and proliferation to ensure that Vietnam has a comprehensive regime to deal with criminal assets.

Research limitations/implications

This paper draws on publicly available information regarding the confiscation of proceeds of crime in Vietnam. Little data is available on asset confiscation and that prevents an in-depth assessment of the regime.

Originality/value

This paper highlights gaps in the current asset confiscation regime and proposes reforms and approaches that will ensure a more effective asset confiscation regime for Vietnam.

Keywords

Citation

Tran, T.T.H. and De Koker, L. (2021), "Confiscation of proceeds of crime in Vietnam: improving the legal framework", Journal of Money Laundering Control, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 215-233. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMLC-11-2020-0123

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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