Heavy loan brokers may be subject to criminal sanctions in Vietnam

The Supreme People's Court is drafting guidelines for the application of Article 201 of the Penal Code and the adjudication of usury cases in civil transactions in Vietnam.

Heavy loan brokers may be subject to criminal sanctions in Vietnam

This draft resolution guides the application of Article 201 of the Criminal Code 2015 as amended and supplemented by Law No.12/2017/QH14 (Criminal Code) on the crime of usury in civil transactions and the adjudication of usury cases in civil transactions.

Determining the amount of illicit profit in Vietnam

The draft law stipulates that if the civil transaction has not yet expired but is discovered, the amount of illegal profit shall be determined according to the amount actually paid by the borrower.

In case the civil transaction has expired but the borrower has not paid interest or has not yet paid a part of interest, the amount of illegal profit is still determined on the basis of the whole period of the civil transaction in Vietnam.

Criminal prosecution in specific cases

In case the person who commits the act of usury collects fees from the borrower (such as contract fees, consulting fees, service fees, communication fees, etc.), this amount is added to the interest to determine the interest rate and illegal profit when considering criminal liability in Vietnam.

In case the broker (intermediary) engages the lender to collect the service fee of the borrower to jointly collect the illegal profit, this amount is added to the interest to calculate the interest and the illegal profit when considering the criminal liability in Vietnam.

Where a person commits multiple usury acts and the total amount of illegal gains of the offenses is from VND 100 million or more, if the offenses have not been examined for penal liability and the statute of limitations for criminal liability search has not expired, in addition to being imposed a penalty frame corresponding to the value of the appropriated property, they shall also be imposed the aggravating circumstance of "committing the offence twice or more" specified at Point g, Clause 1, Article 52 of the Penal Code.

In case the intermediary performs advisory or brokerage acts... or engages in the process of usury, debt collection (such as solicitation, solicitation, coercion, capital contribution...) but knows well to perform usury but still performs it, it shall be handled criminally as an accomplice in usury cases in civil transactions in Vietnam.

Where offenders commit various acts related to debt collection (such as forcing assets, beating borrowers, etc.), they shall be subject to criminal liability for the corresponding crimes in Vietnam on a case-by-case basis.

In addition, the proceeds of illegal profit earned by the offender from usury in civil transactions are the proceeds of illegal appropriation by the offender, which are returned to the borrower, unless the borrower uses the loan for illegal purposes in Vietnam (such as illegal gambling, drug trafficking, etc.), the proceeds of illegal profit are confiscated or added to the State budget.

Source: Government Newspaper

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