The anti-money laundering department under the State Bank of Vietnam says that 90 percent of suspected money laundering transactions are related to the banking sector. This could be linked to embezzlement by high-profile people, gambling and tax evasion, it says.
“Criminals often use bank accounts of different people to receive illegal money and to conceal the origins of illegal incomes.”
Money launderers often ask family members to acquire and transfer properties for making their black money white. These transactions can involve cash or direct banking transfers without going through real exchange trading floors, creating more challenges for authorities in tracking illegal money, the report adds.
There is also a high risk of money laundering happening via the real estate sector and unofficial remittance channels, it says.
Unofficial remittance, which bypasses all official channels to transfer money to and from Vietnam, is a popular method because there is no need to state the purpose of transfer and the procedure is simple.
All these factors mean that Vietnam has a high vulnerability to money laundering, the report emphasizes.
Other avenues that carry an average to low risk of money laundering in Vietnam are stocks, casinos and accounting, the report adds.
In the 2010-2017 period, the anti-money laundering department received almost 7,300 reports on suspicious transactions. Almost half of them were transferred to authorities for investigation.