|05HANOI988||2005-04-28 10:04:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Hanoi|
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 HANOI 000988
1. This cable contains sensitive information. Please
do not post on the Internet.
2. (SBU) Summary: Econ/C delivered reftel points on
AML/CTF to officials at the Ministry of Public
Security (MPS). Econ/C reminded MPS of his December
2004 letter requesting the answers to several specific
questions on AML/CTF and asked advice on how to
proceed. Econ/C also explained that U.S. law
enforcement agencies would very much like to meet with
MPS and establish a mechanism for regular cooperation.
MPS officials expressed willingness to meet with U.S.
law enforcement officials and government agencies, as
well as to answer any questions presented in writing
and a desire for U.S. technical assistance in this
complex area. End Summary.
3. (SBU) Econ/C, accompanied by Econ Assistant, met
with Mr. Tran Van Trinh, Deputy Director,
International Cooperation Department, MPS, to discuss
AML/CTF. Also present were several experts from other
departments such as Police Investigations, Economic
Security, and Criminal Investigations. Trinh observed
that Vietnam's shift to a market economy had exposed
it to new crimes like money laundering about which
even experienced police officials know little. He
acknowledged that the threat of money laundering is on
the rise and is a concern, especially because Vietnam
is still largely a cash-based economy.
4. (SBU) Trinh explained that Article 251 of the
Penal Code defines the crime of money laundering.
Several articles in other legislation such as the Anti-
Drug Law and the Law on Credit Institutions also refer
to money laundering. He noted that MPS has not had
direct exposure to this type of crime. He also
expressed concern that auditing, inspections and
financial supervision in Vietnam are not yet governed
in a unified or comprehensive way, a deficiency that
causes problems for identifying and combating money
5. (SBU) Econ/C mentioned that the United States has
experts in corresponding agencies, such as the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S.
Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), who are available to
share their expertise. Trinh stated that the Economic
Police, the department responsible for money
laundering crimes, lack experience and technical
infrastructure, so they welcome and appreciate any
offer of assistance from U.S. law enforcement or
government officials. Econ/C suggested that U.S.
experts could provide comments on the draft AML decree
and that in the interim DEA/DHS officers could meet
with MPS to discuss AML/CTF issues and possibly set up
a mechanism for regular cooperation. In response to
the suggestion that U.S. officials could meet with the
AML decree drafting team, Trinh countered that an even
better idea would be for the USG to organize and
sponsor a study tour for appropriate officials from
MPS, the State Bank of Vietnam (SBV) and the Ministry
of Justice to visit the United States and learn about
the U.S. system. He expressed great appreciation for
past and current law enforcement assistance provided
by many U.S. agencies, and indicated that it would be
an honor if the USG could initiate other workshops and
training, especially in the United States.
6. (SBU) Trinh stated that Vietnam is actively
participating in workshops to prepare for accession to
the Asia Pacific Group. He also noted that MPS set up
an internal unit in cooperation with UNODC to cover
7. (SBU) As a final response to Econ/C's offer of
assistance, Trinh requested that the USG send
reference material relating to AML/CTF. He suggested
that they would appreciate a copy of the U.S. law
governing AML and any other legal documents that
describe crimes relating to AML/CTF. He opined that
the government might assign MPS or SBV to be the
coordinator of continued cooperation, but stated that
if MPS receives such documents they will be happy to
circulate them among the relevant ministries. Trinh
also stated that MPS is willing to respond to any
official requests for information when the request is
presented in writing and that his department will be
the coordinator of such requests and for meetings. He
asked ECON/C to resubmit the questions sent earlier
and promised a response. The International
Cooperation Department also has an officer dedicated
to drug trafficking issues who can serve as a contact
point, he said. Noting that mixing aspects of
different legal systems was likely to produce a flawed
law, Econ/C encouraged Trinh to consider having USG
experts come to Vietnam to offer advice on this