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Prevent money laundering risks through virtual money, virtual assets

13:36 | 29/05/2022

VCN - Money laundering is increasingly sophisticated with many new forms, especially those related to virtual money and virtual assets because this is a rapidly developing and complex field.

With the advantage of easy exchange on a global scale, virtual currency and virtual assets are an effective channel for criminals to take advantage of money laundering and terrorist financing because they can easily convert funds obtained through illegal activities into "clean" money or transfer terrorist financing through the sale and exchange of virtual currencies in different countries, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) said.

Sharing the same opinion, Mr. Ketut Ariadi Kusuma, Financial Sector Coordinator (WB), said that payment transactions using virtual assets are different from traditional financial transactions. Money transfers are made person-to-person through new technological payment systems instead of through banks or other traditional financial institutions. Therefore, virtual assets can be transferred virtually anywhere in the world.

It is necessary to improve the law on the prevention and combat money laundering through virtual assets. Source: Internet
It is necessary to improve the law on the prevention and combat money laundering through virtual assets. Source: Internet

In fact, the legal system of Vietnam does not have regulations and does not stipulate an official unit to manage the issuance and trading of virtual currencies and virtual assets.

The 2015 Civil Law stipulates that property includes objects, money, valuable papers and property rights. Assets include real estate and movables. The Law on Anti-Money Laundering 2012 stipulates that property includes "objects, money, valuable papers and property rights prescribed by the Civil Code, which can exist in the form of material or immaterial, movable or immovable property; tangible or intangible; legal documents or instruments proving ownership or interest in such property”.

Meanwhile, many digital currencies, virtual currencies and virtual assets are being widely traded on exchanges as a type of “security”. With their rapidly increasing value and "shocking" fluctuations, virtual currencies have attracted the attention of millions of investors around the world, including in Vietnam.

According to a representative from the World Bank, the industrial revolution 4.0 and the Covid-19 pandemic have increased the use of virtual assets, requiring adjustments and amendments to regulations suitable for this field.

Speaking at the seminar "Improving the law on prevention of money laundering through virtual assets" recently organized by the State Bank of Vietnam, SBV Deputy Governor Pham Thanh Ha said that since the Law on Anti-Money Laundering was introduced and promulgated in 2012, the prevention and combat of money laundering in Vietnam has achieved many important results, contributing to the transparency of the financial system, promoting the development of international trade and payment activities.

However, according to the Deputy Governor, after nearly ten years of implementation, the Law on Anti-Money Laundering has revealed a number of limitations, has not been updated and has not met new international standards as well as regulatory requirements. Facing the rapid development, it is necessary to review, summarize and propose amendments and supplements.

“Statistics show that the field of virtual assets is developing rapidly. Vietnam is not an exception,” said Deputy Governor Pham Thanh Ha.

Therefore, the representative of the State Bank of Vietnam, said that this agency has chaired and coordinated with relevant agencies to research and propose amendments to the Law on Prevention and Combat of Money Laundering, focusing on considering issues about reporting objects, especially those related to virtual assets.

In addition, the SBV absorbed the opinions of experts and experiences in the world to have a more comprehensive view, in order to improve the efficiency of state management in this field as well as overcome the situation of high-tech crime using virtual assets as a tool to carry out money laundering.

By HuongDiu/Quynhlan