The Ministry of Public Security, which oversees Vietnam’s police force, has called on the country’s lawmakers to introduce an extradition law to make it easier for the repatriation of Vietnamese criminals who flee overseas.
The call was mentioned in a draft report, published on the ministry's website on August 2, that reviews Vietnam’s implementation of extradition-related legislation since the introduction of the 2007 Law on Mutual Legal Assistance.
Over 1,200 Vietnamese criminals remained at large in foreign countries as of May 2019, according to the draft report.
More than 230 of them are subject to Red Notices by Interpol.
The Ministry of Public Security said it has sent 35 extradition requests to the authorities of foreign countries and has so far successfully extradited seven suspects back to Vietnam.
The ministry added it had also received and processed 23 extradition requests made by other countries as of May.
As of July 2019, Vietnam had signed 12 bilateral extradition agreements with other countries.
The nation is also a member of 22 multilateral international treaties and 11 bilateral mutual legal assistance agreements that include articles on extradition, according to the ministry’s draft report.
Vietnam’s 2007 Law on Mutual Legal Assistance, which dedicates a whole chapter with 17 articles to extradition-related issues, is incompatible with many international and bilateral extradition treaties to which Vietnam is party, and lacks the necessary details to help relevant agencies process extradition cases in real life, the ministry asserted.
The fact that capital punishment is a legal penalty in Vietnam has also prevented some foreign countries from complying with Vietnam’s extradition requests in some instances, the ministry noted.
The numbers of Vietnamese criminals fleeing overseas as well as foreigners coming to Vietnam to evade justice are expected to continue to rise in the future as illegal immigration, human trafficking and cross-border crime are widespread, the ministry warned.
Therefore, the ministry proposed that the lawmaking National Assembly introduce a separate extradition law to replace existing articles on extradition prescribed in other legal documents.
“Such an extradition law must meet all of the political, diplomatic and legal requirements,” the ministry stressed in its draft report.
The agency also supports the signing of more bilateral extradition pacts with foreign countries, especially those involved in a strategic partnership with Vietnam and historically friendly toward the Southeast Asian country.