Accepting bribes “for no profit”: fallacy and policy of implicating corrupt apparatus?

Deputy Head of the Central Commission for Internal Affairs Nguyen Van Yen at the press conference on November 22

Netizens went from surprise to indignation when they heard that at the meeting of the Central Internal Affairs Committee on the afternoon of November 22, Deputy Head of the Central Commission for Internal Affairs Nguyen Van Yen said the amount of damage and bribes in the Van Thinh Phat case is the biggest, ever.

According to Yen, only those who receive large amounts of bribe money, causing particularly serious consequences, will be probed and tried, while those who receive small amounts and did not seek personal gain will not be criminally prosecuted but only handled in terms of Party discipline and administration.

The concept of “receiving bribes without personal gain will not be prosecuted” by the representative of the Anti-Corruption Agency, is considered by public opinion to be a fallacy and a challenge to public opinion. Because of a natural reason, in reality, there is no one who is cold-hearted and would naturally give someone else a large sum of money, without hoping and expecting to receive benefits from the recipient.

According to the definition of the Vietnamese Dictionary, the verb “self-interest” itself is also used to refer to the pursuit of personal benefits. According to the provisions of the Criminal Code, “self-seeking” is the case where the offender has taken advantage of position, power or abuse of power, to appropriate material or non-material benefits illegally, for himself/herself or other agencies and individuals.

To say it out loud, the concept of “receiving bribes (corruption) but not for personal gain” is just an excuse and a constraint. The sole purpose is to exonerate corrupt officials.

Meanwhile, lawyers say that we should not introduce the concept of “receiving bribes without personal gain will not be prosecuted” but everyone who has committed the crime of accepting bribes, according to the law, must be prosecuted and tried, to ensure fairness.

The conclusion from the Police Investigation Agency (C03) of the Ministry of Public Security said that all 18 members of the Interdisciplinary Inspection Team, who came to inspect SCB Bank, received bribes to change the inspection results and conceal the bank’s violations.

But 7 members of the Inspection Team from the Banking Supervision and Inspection Agency, State Audit, the Government Inspectorate, and the National Financial Supervisory Commission are exempt from prosecution because they have returned part or all of the bribe money.

The reason these 7 members were not prosecuted, according to Dan Tri newspaper on November 26, is that although they “made mistakes during the inspection process and received money” but “their positions are subordinates, and at the same time only participate in a certain part of the job.”

Regarding the amount of money received for bribes, Dan Tri said: “Regarding the amount of money for personal gain, Mr. Thinh, Ms. Huong and Mr. Linh actively declared that they received money 4 times, of which, 2 times they returned money, each person received VND100 million; Ms. Nguyen Ha Linh declared that SCB gave her a total of $6,000 and VND50 million; Mr. Bach, Ms. Trang and Ms. Thuy Linh declared that SCB gave them $9,000 and VND100 million each.”

According to the provisions of Article 354 of the Criminal Code 2015, the crime of “receiving bribes” is clearly defined. In case of organized crime, accepting bribes 2 times or more… will be punished with imprisonment from 7 to 15 years. The maximum sentence for bribery is up to 20 years, life imprisonment or death penalty.

Regarding the Viet A case, Chu Ngoc Anh – former chairman of Hanoi got $200,000 from Phan Quoc Viet – chairman of the Board of Directors and General Director of Viet A but he was not prosecuted for bribery because he didnt know.

Chu Ngoc Anh testified at the Investigation Agency that he did not discuss or agree in advance with Phan Quoc Viet about giving or receiving money, and also did not cause difficulties to force Viet to give the money mentioned above.

The example of the case of Chu Ngoc Anh who received $200 thousand shows that the concept of “receiving bribes but not for personal gain” is just a fallacy, and does not follow any current Vietnamese legal standards.

This is essentially a policy of condoning corruption, lightening the crime of the entire giant corruption apparatus of the Communist Party of Vietnam. With this behavior, the collapse of the regime is inevitable. (Translated)