Is private detective business allowed in Vietnam?

The field of private detective and investigation has been recognized by many countries around the world. The US is one of them and has strict legal regulations. This is considered a special field because it can violate people's privacy.

In the morning, drinking coffee, I heard a story from the shop owner. She said while pointing at the luxurious villa opposite: "The house looks so beautiful, but the people living in the house are not very happy, it's very cold."

Wondering why, she continued: "The family has a young girl coming to be the daughter-in-law of a rich family. She thought she would be very happy. But the husband is a jealous person. So jealous that she is now 6 months pregnant and he is still worried that the child is not his. Because he had a lot of money, he immediately signed several contracts with the detective agency, just to monitor what his wife did every day. Knowing that, it's sad, but the girl thinks she should continue this marriage for her child's sake."

After listening to the story, I felt sorry for that girl, but I also wondered how the profession of a private detective is regulated in Vietnam.

Previously, according to Decree No. 108/2006/NĐ-CP of Vietnam’s Government, investment in the field of private detective and investigation was considered detrimental to national defense and security and public interests (Appendix IV on the List of domains banned from investment).

Projects which are detrimental to national defense and security and public interests:

1. Production and processing of narcotics.

2. Investment in and commercial operation of secret investigation services infringing upon state interests, legitimate rights and interests of organizations and individuals.

3. Investment in the field of private detective and investigation.

During this time, although the law prohibits it, because the demand for hiring detectives was very high, there were still a series of detective offices operating "undercover". Some offices applied for licenses in the name of providing information.

However, currently, Decree No. 108/2006/NĐ-CP expired and was replaced with Decree 118/2015/NĐ-CP, which does not mention investment in the field of private detective and investigation as a domain banned from investment. Concurrently, according to Article 33 of the Constitution 2013 of Vietnam: “Everyone has the right to freedom of enterprise in the sectors and trades that are not prohibited by law”. Thus, the profession of private detective and investigation seems to be recognized by law.

Allowing business in the detective field is not incorrect. Because of the high demand, detective agencies have sprung up like mushrooms. And therefore, if not strictly managed, on the one hand, the State loses a large amount of income tax revenue to the budget, on the other hand, violating professional ethics can seriously affect the inviolable right to privacy, personal and family secrets of each citizen.

Thus, it is necessary to promulgate legal regulations to strictly manage business activities in the field of private detective and investigation.

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