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Tuesday, 30 October 2018 09:20
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Fighting against non-traditional crime in Vietnam at present

(LLCT) - Over the past years, non-traditional crime has emerged, developed and directly affected the stability and development of nations in the world, including Vietnam. Currently, some types of non-traditional crime in our country tend to be increasing and developing in a complex manner, causing many severe consequences in security, social order and public safety. Based on analysis and clarification of the concepts, characteristics and situation of non-traditional crime in Vietnam at present, the article recommends some solutions to prevent and suppress this crime, contributing to the development of a stable society.

1. Concept of non-traditional crime

In the late 20th century and early 21st century, the world entered a new step of development with the expansion of intellectual economy and globalization. Together with political and socio-economic changes, traditional crime has gradually shifted to non-traditional crime. Some new types of non-traditional crime have also emerged and developed in a complex manner in each country, each region and in the world. Operating transnationally in an organized manner with new and sophisticated modus operandi, non-traditional crime has caused serious consequences to interests of nations and people. They do not operate according to traditional rules but to non-traditional rules.

Although Vietnam is a developing and integrating country, it is rapidly being confronted to issues of non-traditional security and non-traditional crime. Meanwhile, concepts of non-traditional security and non-traditional crime are still controversial not only in Vietnam but also in the world.

According to many international researchers, non-traditional crime is a new concept which appeared in the late years of the 20th century and the early 21st century. Non-traditional crime is often defined as newly emerging types of crime or old types of crime with new modus operandi. It is closely associated with the use of facilities and means made from the age of intellectual economy and globalization. The scope of its operations is international and transnational. Consequences caused by these types of crime are often huge in terms of economics and society of not only a country but also a region, area or the whole globe.

Currently, non-traditional crime is divided into the following types in the world as well as in Vietnam:

(1) Cyber crime,

(2) Transnational drug-related crime,

(3) Money laundering, illegal circulation and business of counterfeit currency,

(4) Human trafficking and human organ trafficking;

(5) Environmental crime (including types of crime transmitting epidemic diseases to humans and livestock),

(6) Terrorist crime,

(7) Piracy and marine insecurity.

Currently, non-traditional crime has been developing in a complex manner in Vietnam and it tends to be increasing. Criminals associate with each other to become organized criminal gangs and rings. And they connect and link with each other to become transnational criminal groups.

During the process of open-door policy, renewal and international integration, non-traditional crime has emerged and developed strongly. Under the impact of corruption crime, smuggling, tax evasion and commercial fraud, types of non-traditional crime have developed in a more complicated manner and caused more difficulties in prevention and suppression. In the field of economy, non-traditional criminal acts have been occurring in a more and more sophisticated, complicated and transnational manner. Criminals often tend to create collusion between domestic and foreign enterprises with the hands of a part of degenerate and corrupt public servants to commit crime. This is the main element causing many difficulties to the prevention and suppression of non-traditional crime at present in the world in general and in Vietnam in particular.

2. Characteristics of non-traditional crime in Vietnam at present

With the analysis of crime-committing conditions, situation and subjects as well as reasons and results of non-traditional crime prevention and suppression, characteristics of non-traditional crime in Vietnam can be generalized as follows:

First, people who commit non-traditional crime are those who acquire scientific and technological knowledge, especially information technology. In the context of open market economy and international integration, they often take advantage of hi-tech facilities and modern information networks to commit their criminal acts. For example, they use high technology to commit financial and bank robberies and frauds or to steal international telecommunication bills; they use information technology to take gambles and football bets or conduct transactions of drug trafficking, human trafficking, human organ trafficking and money laundering, etc. They use high technology to penetrate information networks and management systems in order to disturb information and make use of registered domain names to carry out conspiracies destroying the economy and society, even politics and military.

Second, non-traditional crime’s modus operandi is to take advantage of the system of hi-tech facilities to gain access to citizens for committing their criminal acts. The space where criminals operate sometimes is just virtual space and direct contacts rarely occur. Criminals’ portraits are sometimes not clear. Therefore, it is not easy and simple for the prevention and suppression of crime. Evidence and proofs for demonstrating criminal acts sometimes only exist for a short time and they are hidden by many other events and phenomena, especially when they are encoded into various hi-tech programs.

Third, non-traditional criminals are newly emerging criminals or old criminals with new modus operandi. Their criminal acts are barely specifically stipulated in the Penal Code. Therefore, the identification of charges and punishment frameworks and many other issues relating to investigation, procedure and trial is currently causing many difficulties and obstacles. That is why we should conduct the study, identification as well as prevention and suppression for the current stage.

Fourth, in the context of a “flat” world, non-traditional crime tends to occur in many nations, regions and even inter-continents. Criminals also hold multiple citizenship. Economic and social consequences of non-traditional crime are accordingly not limited to a national scale but occur on an international scale. Non-traditional crime prevention and suppression needs close coordination between many forces of different levels of administration and sectors in many countries and regions, in which the role of Interpol is extremely important.

Fifth, the level of socio-economic development in Vietnam is still low. The open market economy has just been developping for several decades. The infrastructure for socio-economic development and for national sovereignty and security defence is still low while the management and use of infrastructure still lacks synchronism and consistency. The efficiency of using technical facilities is not high, which severely limits the non-traditional crime prevention and suppression.

3. The prevention and suppression of some types of non-traditional crime in Vietnam at present

Currently, in Vietnam most types of non-traditional crime are noticed. The prevention and suppression of non-traditional crime can be summarized as follows:

Firstly, in preventing and suppressing cyber crime

Cyber crime is understood as a dangerous act towards society which is intentionally committed by those having criminal act capacity with the use of their knowledge, skills as well as information technology and hi-tech communication facilities and means to infringe on security order and information safety, damaging the State’s interests and legitimate rights and interests of domestic and foreign organizations and individuals as stipulated in the Penal Code.

Cyber crime’s operating method is attacking digital equipment, computer networks and telecommunication networks by spreading viruses, spywares, worms and spams; illegally accessing computer systems and databases; destroying or stealing data, performing denial of service attacks DOS-BOTNET; performing domain name system attacks, preventing computer networks’ activities, illegally using data or illegally posting information on the Internet, clandestinely and illegally controlling computers and computer networks; using computers as a tool to commit online frauds, stealing money from credit cards, taking gambles and conducting online drug trafficking, spreading depraved cultural products, laundering money and violating online intellectual property rights.

Cyber crime’s consequences are extremely far-reaching in terms of economy, politics, security and national defence. The prevention and suppression of cyber crime faces many difficulties and challenges. This is the reason why the prevention and suppression of cyber crime is one of the issues that calls for special attention at present.

Secondly, in preventing and suppressing money laundering, illegal counterfeit money circulation and business

Money laundering, illegal counterfeit money circulation and business are in danger of developing and causing unintended consequences in Vietnam at present. The reason why these types of crime are developing in Vietnam is that Vietnam is a newly emerging market with its economy requiring many investment capital sources as well as insufficient and unsynchronised law system. The mechanism of economic and social management is inadequate in comparison with the requirements of market development while bossiness and bureaucracy, and especially corruption have not been effectively overcome. The process of openness and renewal facilitates international criminals’ penetration into our country. They take advantage of the loose management system in some places to commit their crimes. That is not to mention hostile forces who undertake destructive activities such as printing and circulating counterfeit money in order to weaken the Vietnamese economy.

Currently, the prevention and suppression of money laundering and illegal counterfeit money circulation and business is taking place fiercely and with many difficulties. Many criminals are foreigners and hostile forces who undertake these activities to destroy the Vietnamese economy. In order to prevent and suppress these types of crime, primarily, it is necessary to perfect the law system, strictly implement the laws on investment, business, import and export, customs and tax. Fights against bureaucracy, bossiness and corruption should be further enhanced. It is bureaucracy, bossiness and corruption that facilitate the occurrence and development of crime.

Thirdly, in preventing and suppressing transnational drug-related crime

Drug-related crime is a dangerous type of crime to every country and to humankind. Drug-related crime is developing and causing tremendous consequences in Vietnam. Currently, there are about more than 200 thousand drug-addicted people in Vietnam. Those who commit drug-based or drug-related crime amount to up to 70% of criminals in prisons. The number of huge drug trafficking cases is increasing.Up to 2400kg of drugs were detected in a case. Consequenses of drug-related crime are major and severe in all fields of economy, society and politics. Prevention and suppression of drug-related crime is an urgent social task.

In order to effectively prevent and suppress drug-related crime, three fields should be paid attention to, including supply decrease, demand decrease and harm decrease. As such, in order to decrease supply, there should be close coordination among international forces to prevent routes where drugs are trafficked from and to Vietnam. In order to effectively prevent drug trafficking and transporting, there should be international cooperation and strict handling of drug-related crime while effective prevention and suppression against the association between domestic drug-related crime and international drug-related crime should be focused on. It is necessary to mobilize the community to decrease demand and the number of new drug addicts, enhance drug treatment and post-rehabilitation management while gradually reducing consequences caused by drug addiction. The program on preventing and suppressing drug-related crime should be carried out in coordination with other programs on socio-economic development, ensuring the development of a stable society.

Fourthly, in preventing and suppressing human trafficking and human organ trafficking

Human trafficking and human organ trafficking have strongly developed in Vietnam since it opened its economy and shifted to the market economy. Currently, this type of crime is expanding in many forms such as kidnapping, using deception for forced labour, overseas marriage, travelling, visiting relatives or adoption services. Recently, taking advantage of some citizens’ difficult situation, criminals have incited and deceived many poor labourers to sell their own livers and kidneys, causing serious harm to their health. This is a new type of crime that should be prevented and combatted.

In order to prevent these criminals, it is first and foremost necessary to strengthen communication within the population, raising their awareness of the consequences caused by this type of crime; mobilize the masses to fight against and denounce criminals; and coordinate with relevant agencies to implement necessary methods to rescue victims. In addition, in order to effectively prevent and suppress this type of crime, it is necessary to carry out international cooperation activities with relevant forces of related countries, especially with Interpol.

Fifthly, in preventing and suppressing environmental crime

In recent decades, the world as well as Vietnam has been facing environmental security problems. The need for developing production and enhancing living conditions is causing an increase in production and consumption. Running after profit is still the ultimate goal of many businesses and manufacturers. Therefore, environmental crime is taking place more and more in an increasingly complex manner and the prevention and suppression of this type of crime is not easy.

In recent years, the situation of environmental crime in Vietnam has been alarming. We have not had a complete and clear program or plan to control greenhouse gas emission. Contamination of soil, water and air, as well as the extinction of some plant and animal species are not effectively controlled. Production is expanding horizontally with primitive and backward techniques. The consciousness of the community and a part of managers and leaders is not high. All of these things make environmental crime potentially develop in a complex manner. Preventing and suppressing environmental crime is currently an extremely urgent task.

In order to prevent and suppress environmental criminals, this action should be considered as one of the urgent social tasks that should be undertaken by the whole community. Together with communication and education, attention should be paid to investment and use of advanced technologies in production and daily life in order to minimize environmental pollution and realize targets of green growth, amending the law system and strengthening professional methods to effectively protect the environment; enhancing international cooperation in preventing and suppressing environmental crime.

Sixthly, in preventing and suppressing terrorist crime

Though terrorist crime is not developing in Vietnam like in some other areas of the world, dangers and disastrous consequences of terrorist crime should be highly watched out for. Terrorism in Vietnam is related to religion, thus making it easier to prevent and suppress. According to relevant agencies’ statistics, there have been over 100 terrorist activities of all types in Vietnam over the past decade. As such, some activities were carried out by exile losing forces of the old regime; some were carried out by single individuals and others by newly emerging and self-proclaimed political organizations. The scale and extent of terrorist activities is still low and their socio-economic consequences are not huge.

Reasons for terrorist activities are mainly politics, conflicts and contradictions of economic interests, and personal hatred. In order to prevent and suppress terrorist crime, it is necessary to complete the Law on Counter-terrorism and strictly implement it under the leadership of the Party in coordination with agencies, sectors, mass organizations and the whole community. Experience from reality show that in order to effectively prevent and suppress terrorist crime, professional methods should be strengthened with a thorough grasp of terrorist information while concrete operation projects should be built and exercised with the mobilization of the whole community. First of all, for preventing and suppressing terrorist crime, it is necessary to establish a specialized board of preventing terrorism, where attention should be frequently paid to collecting, analysing and precisely assessing the situation as well as planning to prevent and suppress terrorist crime in the current context.

4. Recommendations on solutions to prevent and suppress non-traditional crime in Vietnam at present

From the above-mentioned analysis and collection, some recommendations can be made on specific solutions for entities in the political system to organize and instruct the effective implementation of non-traditional crime prevention and suppression in the current conditions.

- Recommendations to the Party

In order to effectively prevent and fight against types of non-traditional crime, the Politburo and Party Central Committee should issue a new decree on “Preventing and suppressing non-traditional crime in the new situation”. This decree could guide Party Committees, administration, political organizations, society and community in thoroughly grasping the meaning, the importance, purpose, requirements and tasks to be undertaken in order to effectively combat non-traditional crime in the process of increasingly comprehensive international integration. In which, it is especially important to be fully aware of the view that people’s security should be closely associated with highly professional methods and the achievements of modern technological science. This fight is always put the direct leadership of Party Committees.

- Recommendations to State agencies

The State should plan and implement a “National Program on preventing and suppressing non-traditional crime”. As such, the State should complete the law system and consolidate relevant agencies as well as continue to supplement and implement Resolution No. 09-NQ/CP issued by the Government on “Preventing and suppressing crime in the new situation”; complete mechanism of organization, coordination, including international cooperation in preventing and suppressing types of non-traditional crime.

- Recommendations to organizations, social associations and community

In the new condition, the political organizations, social associations and community should enhance communication, education and mass mobilization to continue building a stable people’s security defense line and mobilizing the whole people’s strength in preventing and suppressing all types of non-traditional crime in the most effective way.

In general, the fight against non-traditional crime is just beginning. There are newly emerging criminals or old criminals with new modus operandi in the context of scientific and technological revolutions taking place in many fields. Globalization is an inevitable tendency. Many modern scientific and technological achievements have brought humans into the new height of development. At the same time, it is these achievements that are being taken advantage of by criminals, resulting in unforeseen consequences. In the world today, humans are becoming more vulnerable to threats of non-traditional security through with various types of non-traditional crime. In order to effectively prevent and suppress these types of crime, it is necessary to study more comprehensively each type of crime with its new modus operandi, based on which efficient solutions can be found to prevent and suppress each type of non-traditional crime to ensure the stable development of society.

Assoc. Prof., Dr. Nguyen Chi DZung

Institute for Human Right Research,

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics



Assoc. Prof., Dr. Nguyen Chi DZung

Institute for Human Right Research,

Ho Chi Minh National Academy of Politics

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