Võ Văn Dũng, deputy head of Party Central Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs speaks at a meeting on Thursday in Hà Nội to review the performance of acquiring assets appropriated in corruption cases relating to natural resources and the environment.— Photo dangcongsan.vn
HÀ NỘI — Close cooperation among agencies and sectors should be enhanced to effectively acquire assets originated from corruption acts, said Võ Văn Dũng, deputy head of Party Central Committee’s Commission for Internal Affairs.
He made the statement at a meeting on Thursday in Hà Nội to review the performance of acquiring assets appropriated in corruption cases relating to natural resources and the environment.
According to a report from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MONRE), there were difficulties due to inadequate legal framework and punishments were not strict enough to deter the violations.
The biggest challenge in corruption-fighting was that criminals often had the motivation to disperse their property before it was retrieved.
Statistics from 20 localities with land-related corruption cases showed the money acquired was VNĐ100 billion (US$4.3 million), which accounted for only 30 per cent of the total amount while the total of land retrieved was almost 700,000sq.m.
During the meeting, MONRE proposed that the National Assembly and the Government study and amend laws related to corruption prevention and fighting, and corrupt asset recovery in line with 2013 Constitution and the actual situation. In addition, the mechanism which controls the incomes of people holding powers at different levels as well as the publicity and transparency of assets should be improved.
The ministry also suggested that Government issue regulations on the coordination between judiciary bodies, including the one between law enforcement, the Natural Resources and Environment Division and land registration offices to resolve difficulties for those who want to purchase and sell property in accordance with judgment execution.
At the meeting, Dũng asked MONRE to continue reviewing shortcomings in the ministry’s operation and set forth solutions for better coordination with relevant agencies and localities to improve the effectiveness in acquiring assets in land-related cases.
International judicial cooperation in criminal asset recovery was the main topic discussed at a workshop held the same day by the PCC’ Commission for Internal Affairs.
Participants at the workshop pointed out that the reclamation of property originated from criminal acts in Việt Nam encountered many difficulties as the amount of money recovered was still low and a lot of cases dragged for a long time but didn’t bring about any results.
According to Lê Tiến, head of the Department of International Coopration and Mutual Legal Assistance on Criminal Matter under the Supreme People’s Procuracy, it was necessary for Việt Nam to consider the building a law on legal assistance specifically in criminal matters that is separate from the 2007 Law on Legal Assistance in order to improve the efficiency of the work.
This was supposed to clearly define the authorisation, procedures involved in asking foreign agencies to verify, block off, retrieve and transfer property gained from criminal acts orginated in Việt Nam to Vietnamese Government. A mechanism on information sharing and coordination with relevant agencies in foreign countries should also be determined.
“In the long-term, the building of a law on retrieving property gained from criminal activities is a must,” Tiến said.
Nguyễn Tuấn Khanh, deputy head of Strategy and Inspectorate Science Institute under the Government Inspectorate, suggested that in addition to signing or supplementing agreement on mutual or multilateral legal assistance on acquiring corruption assets, it was necessary to accomplish criminal law and criminal procedure.
Nguyễn Thái Học, deputy head of PCC’s Commission for Internal Affairs, touched upon loose coordination between relevant agencies and stressed the need to respect and understand international law and standards in the work. — VNS