Customs and bank coordinate in preventing smuggling and money laundering

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Customs and bank coordinate in preventing smuggling and money laundering
Director General Nguyen Van Can and Acting Chief Inspector of Banking Supervision Agency sign the Coordination Regulation. Photo: T.B
h

Many sophisticated tricks

At the signing ceremony of Coordination Regulation in exchanging and providing information between the Banking Supervision Agency and the General Department of Vietnam Customs on September 9, the leaders of the two agencies said that the smuggling, money laundering and illegal transportation of currency across border gate and terrorist financing have been a problem and voiced concern to the international community.

With the development of science and technology, violation tricks are increasingly sophisticated, negatively affecting all countries' social and economic development, including Vietnam.

Director General Nguyen Van Can spoke about some notable violations, such as the case involving Thu Duc Housing Development Joint Stock Company. As a result, Customs spent six months investigating and identifying a violation of relevant individuals and units.

The company revised the value of exported electronic products up to 10 times for tax evasion and misappropriation of VAT refunds worth about VND600 billion. During the investigation, the Banking Supervision Agency effectively supported Customs.

The Director General of Vietnam Customs said that the provision of dossiers and documents by the Banking Supervision Agency to the Customs in the process of verification and investigation is necessary for the near future. In addition, the regular information exchange plays a key role in actively preventing violations, said Director General Nguyen Van Can.

Regarding the responsibilities of the Customs, the Director General said that the Customs office is ready to provide information related to imports, exports and means of transport on exit and entry to the Banking Supervision Agency for management, especially for the credit. Therefore, the bank will promptly detect

Thereby, it will help the bank promptly detect shipments and projects and revise the value for fraud and appropriation of bank loans.

Coordinating in tackling many cases

Regarding the outstanding cooperation between the two authorities, the representative of Banking Supervision Agency said that the Prevention and Anti-money Laundering Department and the Anti-Smuggling and Investigation Department has actively provided hundreds of information for the performance of each department.

The exchanged information is used effectively and is one of the factors that support the Banking Supervision Agency in information analysis for suspicious transactions and preventing and combating money laundering. In addition, the information contributes an important role in combating smuggling, illegal transportation of goods and currency, and trafficking of banned goods across border gates.

Notably, Customs has used information provided by the Banking Supervision Agency to investigate, tackle, and prosecute criminal cases. For example, cases related to smugglers illegally transporting scrap into Vietnam or illegally transporting currency across the border. The recent case concerns importing supplies and equipment for pandemic prevention and control.

However, the coordination in information exchange between the two sides still shows shortcomings, such as the lack of focal points to exchange information of each unit and obstacles in I.T. application in information provision.

In order to improve the efficiency of coordination and information exchange between the Banking Inspection and Supervision Agency and the General Department of Vietnam Customs, contributing to the successful implementation of assigned political tasks, leaders of the Ministry of Finance and the State Bank directed the Banking Supervision Agency and the General Department of Vietnam Customs to collaborate in developing and finalizing the Coordination Regulation.

On February 29, the State Bank and the Ministry of Finance signed a coordination regulation on working and exchanging, including the coordination on prevention and combat of money laundering.

On April 30, 2019, the Prime Minister signed Decision 474/QD-TTg promulgating the Action Plan to address the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing for 2019-2020. Accordingly, Section III provides content related to information exchange between the Anti-Money Laundering Department, law enforcement agencies, and relevant ministries and sectors.

In Decision 941/QD-TTg dated August 5, 2022, of the Prime Minister on promulgating the National Action Plan on combating money laundering and financing of proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and terrorism for the 2021-2025 period, the Prime Minister has directed to assign the State Bank and the Ministry of Finance to develop a Memorandum of Understanding between the Banking Inspection and Supervision Agency and the General Department of Vietnam Customs.

Based on the recommendations and assessment of the Asia-Pacific Group on Anti-Money Laundering (APG) in the Multilateral Assessment Report on Anti-Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing for Vietnam, Direct Target number O6 states: that there is a need to improve coordination and cooperation between the Anti-Money Laundering Department and Customs to share information and support the financial investigation of the Customs.

By Thai Binh/Ngoc Loan

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