The Legal Framework for Prosecution of Money Laundering Offences in Vietnam
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This paper analyses Vietnam's compliance with international anti-money laundering standards. It describes Vietnam’s risk factors for money laundering and contrasts its high risk with its low rate of money laundering prosecutions, a contrast which suggests problems in the anti-money laundering prosecutions regime. It commences with a description of the evolution of the Vietnamese anti-money laundering legislation situated within relevant features of the national legal system. It then moves to a case study approach, describing the three money-laundering offences that were successfully prosecuted and a series of money-laundering cases that were not prosecuted. These reveal legislative inadequacies in relation to offences committed abroad or by corporations, and a lack of legal measures concerning unjust enrichment. In relation to criminal investigations, other difficulties occur, arising from significant gaps in the collection of financial intelligence concerning non-bank financial institutions and cash transactions, as well as the absence of specialised financial crime investigations units or of parallel financial investigations of predicate offences investigations. To address those problems, the paper makes five recommendations.