As lucky money envelopes that look identical to the Vietnamese banknotes are widely advertised online ahead of the Lunar New Year, local lawyers have warned that these products can be regarded as a violation of the currency law.
Lucky money, or li xi in Vietnamese, are often given to children and elders in red envelopes as a way of wishing good luck for both children and senior people during Tet, the way Vietnamese people call Lunar New Year, in Vietnam.
In recent years, beside the red color that is said to symbolize good luck and is supposed to ward off evil spirits in Vietnamese belief, many out-of-the-box designs for lucky money envelopes have also been introduced in the market on every Tet.
This year, the envelopes designed in the form of Vietnamese banknote look-alikes have been the new trend.
The products bear the same appearance as Vietnamese bills with denominations of VND50,000, VND100,000, VND200,000 and VND500,000. (US$1 = 23,256)
|Lucky money envelopes are printed in form of VND500,000 ($21.5) banknotes. Photo: Tuoi Tre|
According to some sellers, this type of red envelopes is printed in C150gsm paper, with full and clear color, in 7.3x16.5cm size, so the circulating real banknotes can easily fit in. Both sides of the envelopes are identical to real money.
They are sold for VND1,000 VND apiece or VND800 per set of ten, according to N. Nga, who advertises the lucky money envelopes both for use and resale.
T.T, a resident in Hanoi, told Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that she had just sourced 7,000 pieces of these lucky money envelopes, but most of them were sold out so quickly that only the VND500,000-note look-alikes are left.
Little did these sellers know that their sale activities violate the Vietnamese law, according to lawyer Nguyen Ngo Quang Nhat.
The act of copying Vietnamese currency for any purpose without the prior written approval of the State Bank of Vietnam is prohibited as per prescription in Clause 3, Article 3, Decision of the Prime Minister No. 130/2003 / QD-TTG dated June 30, 2003 on the protection of Vietnamese currency, lawyer Nhat said.
Accordingly, if any organizations or individuals print lucky money envelopes in resemblance to real money, they may violate the provisions on the protection of Vietnamese money as mentioned above.
This behavior may lead to a fine between VND40,000,000 ($1,720) and VND80,000,000 ($3,440) and additional penalties, the lawyer elaborated.