Protection racketeering is an act of using force or taking advantage of the position and power to provide protection for the business, business or protect the illegal interests of a person or a group of people, with the motives and purposes of serving the interests. However, in reality, even legitimate business activities are sometimes forced to pay protection money.
Protection racketeers are usually gang members who are no strangers to violence and brutality so the victims are too afraid to resist.
Acts of collecting insurance premiums will commit the crime of "Property forcible appropriation" specified in Article 170 of the Criminal Code 2015 (amended and supplemented in 2017) of Vietnam. The law stipulates:
1. Any person who uses violence, threat of violence otherwise intimidates another person to obtain his/her property shall face a penalty of 01 - 05 years' imprisonment.
2. This offence committed in any of the following circumstances carries a penalty of 03 - 10 years' imprisonment:
a) The offence is committed by an organized group;
b) The offence is committed in a professional manner;
c) The offence is committed against a person under 16, a woman whose pregnancy is known by the offender, an old and weak, sick or defenseless person;
d) The property obtained is assessed at from VND 50,000,000 to under VND 200,000,000;
dd) The offence has a negative impact on social safety, order and security;
e) Dangerous recidivism;
3. This offence committed in any of the following circumstances carries a penalty of 07 - 15 years' imprisonment:
a) The property obtained is assessed at from VND 200,000,000 to under VND 500,000,000;
b) The offender takes advantage of a natural disaster or epidemic to commit the offence.
4. This offence committed in any of the following circumstances carries a penalty of 12 - 20 years' imprisonment:
a) The property obtained is assessed at ≥ VND 500,000,000;
b) The offender takes advantage of a war or state of emergency to commit the offence.
5. The offender might also be liable to a fine of from VND 10,000,000 to VND 100,000,000 or have all or part of his/her property confiscated.
In addition, in cases where the use of force to force payment of premium results in injury, the offenders may also be additionally prosecuted for "Intentionally inflicting injury on or causing harm to the health of others" as prescribed in Article 134 of the Penal Code of Vietnam.
The judgment on property forcible appropriation No. 271/2020/ HS-ST reads as follows:
“In the area in front of Ho Chi Minh City Polytechnic University, there are about 20 to 30 young men (who have had transgender surgery) gathered to buy sex. In order to be gathered in this area to welcome sex workers, sex workers are required to pay from VND 100,000 to VND 200,000/person/day to their spouses Le Van D and Dao Thi C and two accomplices, H and K (unknown background) are the subjects of "protection", otherwise they will be intimidated and driven away. The total amount that Le Van D benefited is about VND 45,000,000 ”
The court pronounced the penalty of the defendant Le Van D 07 (Seven) years in prison for “ Forcible appropriation of property
Another case in the Judgment 141/2020/HSPT dated May 15, 2020 on the crime of property exploitation is as follows:
Due to the purpose of appropriating the money of the clam purchasing agents, the subjects Nguyen Sy C, Vuong Th, Nguyen Sy L, Nguyen Huu H go to the boat wharf area in Chau G neighborhood., Quang Chau Ward, Sam Son City to prevent clam collection agents from loading clams into cars, forcing victims to go to Nguyen Sy C. to pay bail, and committing violent acts against victims when being resisted.
People's Court of Thanh Hoa province declares the defendants guilty of "Forced appropriation of property"
Thus, the act of collecting insurance premiums directly infringes on the property ownership rights of other persons protected by law, causing adverse effects on the situation of political order and security in the locality and society. Depending on each case, the violation level will be dealt with under the crime of "Forced appropriation of property" with a fine of 10-100 million dong and a fine of 01-20 years. If the act of protection is accompanied by violence against the victim, the victim may also be prosecuted for "intentionally inflicting injury or harm to the health of others" with the highest sentence of life imprisonment.