05/08/2022 09:40

How much bribe will be prosecuted for legal liability in Vietnam?

How much bribe will be prosecuted for legal liability in Vietnam?

Vietnamese people often say "The money that comes first is the smart one". However, whether it is real "smart money" or not depends on each case and each person. The issue of spending money to bribe cadres is no longer strange to today's society, but not all of them are successful.

Judgment No. 37/2017/HSST on the crime of offering bribes of the People's Court of Dak Glong district, Dak Nong province for the first-instance trial:

“Around 11:30 a.m on March 28, 2017 at Q Hamlet, Q Commune, D District, Nguyen Van N offered an amount of VND 5,000,000 to Mr. Pham Van A, a Ranger of the District Forest Protection Department of Q commune, in charge of the forest ranger station in the inter-communal area Q so that Mr. A would not make a record of N's illegal encroachment on forest land. However, Mr. A did not agree to receive the money, so he reported to the police force to make a report of a red-handed crime against N."

Acts Nguyen Van N committed in the crime of "Offering Bribe" specified in Clause 1, Article 289 of the Penal Code

Article 289 of the 1999 Criminal Code provides:

1. Those who offer a bribe which has a value of between five hundred thousand dong and under ten million dong, or under five hundred thousand dong but cause serious consequences or commit it more than once, shall be sentenced to between one and six years of imprisonment.

However, corresponding to the offense committed by the defendant, at Point a, Clause 1, Article 364 of the 2015 Criminal Code, the maximum penalty frame is up to 3 years in prison, lower than the penalty specified in Clause 1, Article 289 of the 1999 Penal Code, the Trial Panel shall apply Clause 1, Article 364 of the Criminal Code 2015 when deciding the penalty is in favor of the defendant.

Article 364 of the 2015 Criminal Code as amended and supplemented in 2017 provides:

1. Any person who directly or through an intermediary gives or promises to give any of the following benefits to an office holder or another person or organization in order to influence him/her to perform or not to perform certain tasks in the interests of or at the request of the bribe giver shall be liable to a fine of from VND 20,000,000 to VND 200,000,000 or face a penalty of up to 03 years' community sentence or 06 - 36 months' imprisonment:

a) Money, property or other tangible benefits assessed at from VND 2,000,000 to under VND 100,000,000;

b) Intangible benefits.

2. This offence committed in any of the following circumstances carries a penalty of 02 - 07 years' imprisonment:

a) The offence is committed by an organized group;

b) The offence involves deceitful methods;

c) The bribe is state property;

d) The offender abuses his/her position or power to commit the offence;

dd) The offence has been committed more than once;

e) The bribe is money, property or other tangible benefits assessed at from VND 100,000,000 to under VND 500,000,000.

3. If the bribe is money, property or other tangible benefits assessed at from VND 500,000,000 to under VND 1,000,000,000, the offender shall face a penalty of 07 - 12 years' imprisonment.

4. If the bribe is money, property or other tangible benefits assessed at ≥ VND 1,000,000,000, the offender shall face a penalty of 12 - 20 years' imprisonment.

5. The offender might also be liable to a fine of from VND 10,000,000 to VND 50,000,000.

6. Any person who promises to bribe a foreign official, an official of a public international organization or an office holder in an enterprise or organization other than state organizations shall be dealt with in accordance with this Article.

7. Any person who is forced to give bribes but voluntarily reports the bribery before being discovered shall be acquitted and have the money or property used as bribe returned. Any person who is not forced to give bribes but voluntarily report the bribery before being discovered might be exempt from criminal responsibility and have all or part of the money or property used as bribe returned.

Therefore, the act of offering bribes constitutes a crime only when the bribe is money, property or other material benefits worth 2 million VND or more. For the case of giving immaterial benefits, the determination of the value of the benefits is not mandatory and the fault of the offender is a direct intentional fault.

The money that went before is not necessarily a smart one, but it also brings a sad ending like the above judgment. The crime of "Offering bribes" seems simple, but the sentence is quite high compared to other crimes. Therefore, each person needs to be sober to deal with the problem and give up the thought of "Offering bribes".

Thanh Ngan
286


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