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Vietnam loses $316 mn to corruption in nine months, only 22% recovered

Vietnam loses $316 mn to corruption in nine months, only 22% recovered

Thursday, November 27, 2014, 18:01 GMT+7

About VND6.74 trillion (U$316.45 million) was lost through corruption in Vietnam in the first nine months of this year, but only 22.3 percent of the this amount was recovered, the Ministry of Justice has said.

>> Only one-fifth of losses in corruption cases recovered: Inspectorate The ministry released the striking figures at the 13th dialogue on anti-corruption held in Hanoi on Wednesday with a theme of “Solutions to corruption prevention and recovery of losses in corruption cases.” In many cases, the money or assets appropriated by corrupt officials could not be recovered as they had been transformed in various ways, including making ownership transfers, purchasing various assets with appropriated money, money laundering and transferring “black money” abroad, said Nguyen Thanh Tu, deputy head of the ministry’s International Law Department. Therefore, despite great efforts, recovering the money and assets lost in corruption cases is difficult and complicated work not only in a developing country like Vietnam, but also in developed countries that have a lot of experience in anti-corruption, said Justice Minister Ha Hung Cuong. In the first nine months of 2014, investigative agencies nationwide handled 415 corruption cases that caused total losses of over VND6,740 billion (US$315.25 million), of which only over VND1,500 billion, or 22.3 percent, was recovered, the ministry reported.637 corrupt officials sentenced Over the same amount of time, investigation police agencies indicted 593 defendants in 256 cases, said Pham Trong Dat, head of the Anti-Corruption Department under the Government Inspectorate. Dat added that the number of indictments and cases increased by 23 and 25 respectively compared with the same period last year. The period also saw courts nationwide open trials for 287 corruption cases and sentence 637 defendants, he said. In the period from October 2010 to the end of April 2013, corruption cases caused total damage worth over VND17 trillion ($795 million) , but only VND5 trillion, or 19.4 percent, was receovered, according to the ministry’s statistics. The number of new corruption cases detected in the period was 53, which caused losses of VND68.5 billion ($3.2 million) in total, of which VND46.9 billion, or 68.5 percent, was recovered. Speaking at the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc demanded that relevant agencies coordinate with each other in the inspection, detection and trial of corruption cases, which have caused great damage to the State budget and the assets of businesses and organizations As corruption cases may involve overseas money laundering activities, concerned agencies should boost their cooperation with relevant international agencies in handling corruption cases and recovering the losses under the United Nations Convention on Anti-Corruption, Phuc said.

"All the money and assets lost in corruption cases must be recovered," he added.

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