Jurisdictions need to increase cooperation in retrieving stolen assets

Asset recovery is the legal process through which a country, government and/or its citizens recover the resources and other assets that were stolen through corruption cases from another jurisdiction. Therefore, it is a matter of considerable public concern and deputies always raised questions about it during voter meetings. Although there have been positive changes in asset recovery, jurisdictions need to increase cooperation in retrieving stolen assets.


Jurisdictions need to increase cooperation in retrieving stolen assets ảnh 1  The land plot at 129 Pasteur in Vo Thi Sau Ward in District 3
The Ho Chi Minh City Civil Judgment Execution Department has just enforced the land plot at 129 Pasteur in Vo Thi Sau Ward in District 3 to hand over to the Ministry of Public Security according to the judgments relating to Phan Van Anh Vu cases.
The land plot 129 Pasteur has an area of 2,264 square meters with a 3-story house, valued at VND 3,300 billion (US$144,661,7450). This is the execution of judgments entrusted by the Civil Judgment Execution Department of Hanoi to the District 3 Civil Judgment Execution Sub-Department. A leader of Ho Chi Minh City's Civil Judgment Execution Department said that in the coming time, it will continue to execute judgments on asset recoveries.
In 2021, 262 cases were executed collecting a total amount of more than VND 58,000 billion as asset recovery. There have been positive changes in asset recovery in recent years. Acting Director of the Ho Chi Minh City Civil Judgment Execution Department Nguyen Van Hoa said that from October 2021 to the end of February 2022, the amount of money recovered in corruption and economic cases has reached over VND5,000 billion, accounting for 91 percent of the country.
Meanwhile, at the People's Court of Ho Chi Minh City, in 2021, many key cases have been tried, such as the case of Le Tan Hung and his accomplices related to violations that occurred at the Saigon Agriculture Corporation or Tat Thanh Cang cases and his accomplices violating regulations on management and use of State assets, causing loss and waste.
In addition to the amount of money that was recovered by the procedure-conducting agencies during the investigation, prosecution, and trial, more than VND1,200 billion in stolen assets have been retrieved for a state budget
Changes in asset recovery in corruption, economic, and position cases in Ho Chi Minh City are in line with the country’s general trend because the rate of asset recovery for corruption is increasing after the National Assembly issued Resolution 96/2019 which assigned the Government with related agencies to closely coordinate, increasing the recovery rate of money and appropriated assets to over 60 percent.
This goal is not a small challenge because this rate is only about 8 percent from 2005 to 2013. In the period 2013-2020, the recovery rate of misappropriated assets has increased to 32.04 percent. This is a significant step forward, but the results are still very low. VND5,000 billion was recovered in five months by the Ho Chi Minh City Civil Judgment Execution Department accounting for 91 percent in the country, but it only reached 16.13 percent of the amount with conditions for enforcement. In terms of the number of cases, only 12.4 percent of cases have been executed.
Currently, the process of recovering corrupt assets in Vietnam is still mainly based on the implementation of legally effective judgments. At that time, after an investigation, prosecution and trial, criminals had time to disperse assets. Accordingly, experts in the field have proposed solutions to promote the handling of illegal assets, without explaining the legal origin as well as penalizing illegal enrichment.
Inadequacies in coordination between agencies responsible for recovering corrupt assets also make it difficult to recover assets in cases of corruption, economy and position. Regulations on land management, business and banking also have many loopholes and complications, which are used by criminals to let relatives name properties and conduct transactions to launder money. Recently, the Law on Enforcement Civil judgments has been revised with regard to the entrustment mechanism.
Specifically, when the judgment enforcement agency receives the judgment, there is a mechanism to entrust another local civil judgment enforcement agency to handle the case where the assets are distrained or blockaded in the case in many localities. Deputy Chairman of the Judiciary Committee of the National Assembly Do Duc Hong Ha said that the new regulation allowing the simultaneous handling of assets in many localities will help the recovery of corrupt assets be faster.
At the meeting in January 2022, the Central Steering Committee on Anti-corruption summarized that more than VND 31,000 billion have been retrieved from the cases under the Steering Committee’s monitor from 2013 reaching nearly 33.4 percent. Importantly, over VND9,000 billion was recovered in 2021.
Many cases have a high rate of asset recovery, such as the case where AVG recovered the entire amount of bribes of VND137.6 billion. The case of Giang Kim Dat occurred at Vinashin Ocean Shipping Company Limited - Vinashinline seized, distrained, and blocked accounts with a value of over VND 300 billion or Trinh Xuan Thanh's case occurred at PV Land, recovering VND 45.2 billion.

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