How does the Vietnamese law regulate anti-money laundering?

Money laundering is a dangerous crime that seriously affects the economy and prevents the development of a country. Most countries around the world regard money laundering prevention as one of the most important issues.

In this article, BLawyers Vietnam presents information about Vietnam’s regulations on money laundering.

1. What is money laundering?

Under Vietnamese law, money laundering refers to the act of an organization or individual to legalize the origin of the property through an offense.

Pursuant to Law on Anti-money Laundering No.14/2022/QH15 on 15 November 2022 (“LAML 2022”), property derived from any offense refers to property obtained directly or indirectly from a criminal activity; and part of the income, proceeds, gains, or profits generated from the property obtained from any illegal act.

The offense of money laundering stipulated by the Criminal Code includes:

    1. Directly or indirectly participating in financial transactions, banking transactions, or other transactions to conceal the illegal origin of the money or property obtained through his/her commission of a crime or obtained through another person’s commission of a crime under his/ her knowledge;
    2. Using money or property obtained through his/her commission of a crime or obtained through another person’s commission of a crime under his/ her knowledge for doing business or other activities;
    3. Concealing information about the true origin, nature, location, movement, or ownership of money or property obtained through his/her commission of a crime or obtained through another person’s commission of a crime under his/ her knowledge, or obstructing the verification of such information;
    4. Committing any of the offenses mentioned above with the knowledge that the money or property is obtained through the transfer or conversion of money or property obtained through another person’s commission of a crime.

A person who commits one of the above offenses shall be imprisoned for 01 year – 05 years, or 05 years – 10 years; in addition, part or all the property of the offender might be confiscated.

2. How does the Vietnamese Law regulate on anti-money laundering?

LAML 2022 is the highest legal document for anti-money laundering in Vietnam. LAML 2022 prescribes measures to prevent, identify, stop, and deal with organizations and persons that conduct money laundering; stipulates responsibilities of agencies, organizations, and individuals in anti-money laundering; and describes international cooperation in anti-money laundering. LAML 2022 additionally states that the prevention of money laundering related to financial terrorism must adhere to the rules of LAML 2022, the Criminal Code, and the law on terrorist prevention.

Financial institutions; organizations and individuals engaged in related non-financial business lines; Vietnamese organizations and individuals; Vietnamese organizations and individuals, foreign organizations, foreigners, and international organizations having transactions with financial institutions, organizations and individuals engaged in related non-financial business lines; and other organizations and individuals are subject to regulation under LAML 2022.

The above is not official advice from BLawyers Vietnam. If you have any questions or suggestions about the above, please contact us at consult@blawyersvn.com. BLawyers Vietnam would love to hear from you.

Date: 24 June 2023

 Writers: Thuyet Tran & Linh Nguyen

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