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Virtual currencies, assets still escape the net: NA deputy

According to the National Assembly Deputy Duong Van Phuoc, virtual currencies and assets still can escape the net because of unclear regulations of the Anti-money Laundering law (AML).
Duong Van Phuoc, NA Deputy from Quang Nam

On September 7, full-time National Assembly deputies gave opinions about the amended AML project. 

Phuoc, a deputy from Quang Nam mentioned suspicious transactions via the banking system, and unclear regulations in the draft law.

“Only when serious cases occur do appropriate agencies handle the cases, while cases cannot be discovered when criminals begin taking shape. This shows it is very difficult to determine the origin of assets,” Phuoc said, adding that the draft law needs to contain clearer provisions.

Cryptocurrency is not recognized in Vietnam, but Phuoc said that Vietnam is a very big market, and there is a high possibility of money laundering. So, AML needs to mention the problem to ensure financial security.

According to Phuoc, cryptocurrencies can be easily transacted around the globe and have become a channel for criminals to wash money and fund terrorism. Criminals can easily convert dirty money into clean money through illegal models, and use the money to fund terrorism through cryptocurrency exchanges in many countries.

Phuoc said there have been many large-scale gambling and money laundering rings recently which all used cryptocurrencies. However, the activities are beyond the provisions of the laws and are not managed by appropriate agencies.

Stressing the lack of relevant provisions in AML, Phuoc proposed that the provisions must be added to the law to ensure financial security and prevent the exploitation of financial technology for criminal activities such as money laundering and terrorism.

At the conference, Nguyen Minh Duc, a National Assembly Deputy from HCM City, mentioned suspicious transactions in the real estate sector. He believes that there could be washing of money through securities and then criminals withdrawing money to buy real estate. Therefore, it is necessary to find the origin of the money used to buy real estate.

“Foreigners are now allowed to buy houses in Vietnam. How will Vietnam prevent money laundering if they don’t make transactions via banks, but via other channels?” he said.

According to State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) Governor Nguyen Thi Hong, the draft AML initially contained provisions about cryptocurrencies. However, after review, compilers discovered that the current legal system still doesn’t have regulations on the state management agencies which have the right to license virtual assets. 

Therefore, agencies have asked the government to submit to the National Assembly a solution which assigns the government to draw up detailed regulations. 

Hong said that SBV would continue to clarify the responsibilities of relevant agencies, including SBV, when drafting the law.

Quang Phong


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