Vietnam: What is freezing accounts? What are the cases of freezing accounts?

What is freezing accounts? What are the cases of freezing accounts in Vietnam? - Thanh Khiet (Thai Binh, Vietnam)

1. Freezing accounts in civil cases in Vietnam

According to Article 124 of the Civil Procedure Code 2015, freezing accounts at banks, other credit institutions, State Treasury shall be applied if in the course of settling cases there are grounds showing that the obligors have accounts at banks, other credit institutions or State Treasury and the application of this measure is necessary to ensure the settlement of the cases or to ensure the judgment enforcement.

Freezing properties at depositories shall be applied if in the course of settling cases there are grounds showing that the obligors have their properties deposited and the application of this measure is necessary to ensure the settlement of the cases or to ensure the judgment enforcement.

Vietnam: What is freezing accounts? What are the cases of freezing accounts? (Internet image)

2. Freezing accounts in criminal cases in Vietnam

Article 126 of the Criminal Procedure Code 2015 stipulates that coercive measures are to maintain intra vires activities of charge filing, investigation, prosecution, adjudication, sentence enforcement., including the measure of freezing accounts.

2.1 Freezing of accounts for individuals

According to Article 129 of the Criminal Procedure Code 2015, the measures to freeze accounts are as follows:

- Account freeze only applies to suspects and defendants whose offences are punishable by mulct or confiscation of property as per the Criminal Code, or applies to guarantee compensations over damage upon the detection of such persons’ accounts in a credit institution or state treasury. Account freeze also applies to other people’s accounts evidently found to hold amounts involved in criminal acts of accused persons.

- Authorized individuals as defined in Section 1, Article 113 of the Criminal Procedure Code 2015, and Presiding judges are entitled to make decisions on account freeze. Such decisions made by individuals as defined in Point a, Section 1, Article 113 of the Criminal Procedure Code 2015 shall be ratified by the equivalent Procuracy prior to the enforcement of decisions.

- Only amounts proportionate to probable degree of fine, seizure or compensation for damage shall be frozen. Persons assigned to freeze and manage accounts but defreezing such accounts shall incur criminal liabilities as per the Criminal Code.

- Competent presiding authorities, when freezing accounts, must give written decisions on account freeze to the credit institution or state treasury managing the accounts of accused persons or other people’s accounts involved in criminal acts of persons facing charges. The delivery of the account freeze order must be executed in writing according to Article 178 of the Criminal Procedure Code 2015.

The credit institution or state treasury managing accounts of arrestees, detainees, suspects, defendants or other people's accounts involved in criminal acts of arrestees, detainees or defendants, upon receiving the order of account freeze, shall immediately freeze such accounts and execute written records.

A written record of account freeze shall be executed in five originals. One is given to the person facing charges. One is given to other people involved in the accused person. One is given the equivalent Procuracy. One is stored in the case file. One is retained by the credit institution or state treasury.

Article 130 of the Criminal Procedure Code 2015 stipulates the termination of property distrainment and account freeze as follows:

- Property distrainment and account freeze in force must be terminated in one of the following events:

= Suspension of investigation or lawsuit;

= Suspension of investigation or lawsuit against suspects;

= The Court declares defendants not guilty;

= Suspects are not penalized to incur fine, property distrainment or compensation for damage.

- Investigation authorities, procuracies and Courts terminate property distrainment and account freeze deemed unnecessary.

The procuracy must be informed of the termination or replacement of measures for property distrainment or account freeze during the stage of investigation and prosecution prior to the issuance of decisions.

2.2 Freezing accounts for legal entities in Vietnam

Article 438 of the Criminal Procedure Code 2015 stipulates the freezing of accounts with legal entities as follows:

- Freezing of a juridical person's accounts, evidently available at a credit institution or State Treasury, applies when amends for damage must be guaranteed or the juridical person is charged, investigated, prosecuted or tried for crimes punishable by mulct as per the Criminal Code.

- Account freeze also applies to the accounts of other entities evidently found to hold amounts involved in the juridical person’s criminal acts.

- Only amounts proportionate to probable degree of fine or compensation for damage shall be frozen.

- Authorities warranted to freeze accounts must give written decisions on account freeze to the representative of the credit institution or State Treasury manaing the accounts of the juridical person or other entities in connection with the juridical person's criminal acts.

- The authority, order and procedures for account freeze shall abide by Article 129 of the Criminal Procedure Code 2015.

Nhu Mai

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