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Vietnam legislation on rhino horn possession strengthens jail time and fines.

December 29, 2016

Translation of Articles 234, 242 and 244 (Penal Code 2015)

Penal Code No. 100/2015/QH13, with the expected effective date in 2017, stipulates stricter criminal punishments to wildlife offenses under Article 234, 242 and 244. Apart from acts of hunting, catching, killing, rearing, caging, transporting and/or trading of endangered, precious and rare species, their body parts and products, the revised Code also includes possession as a criminal offense, closing a critical loophole that previously allowed criminals to escape with fines for keeping tigers, rhino horns, other endangered species and their products.

July-6-2016-Penal-Code-2015

 

 

Furthermore, the new Code also affords greater protection to species not listed on either Decree 160 or Appendix I of CITES, permitting authorities to impose criminal punishments on offenders in case of infringements involving large quantity of animals. Last but not least, Penal Code 2015 also allows the courts to sentence individual offenders to jail with a term of up to 15 years. Organizations committing wildlife will also be subject to a criminal fine of up to 15 billion VND (~ $675,000 USD) or permanent suspension of operation. This is a substantial increase comparing to previous versions of the Code.

 


 

Translation-of-Articles-234-242-and-244-Penal-Code-2015

* Unofficial translation by ENV based on Penal Code No. 100/2015/QH13 approved by the National Assembly on November 27, 2015

Article 234: Violating regulations on the management and protection of wildlife species

1. Those who commit the following acts that do not fall into the cases specified under Article 242 and Article 244 of this Code shall be subject to a fine of between 50,000,000 VND and 300,000,000 VND, a non-custodial reform for up to three years, or imprisonment with a jail term of between six months and three years:

a) Illegal hunting, catching, killing, rearing, caging, transporting, trading of endangered, precious, and rare species of Group IIB or Appendix II of CITES valued from 300,000,000 VND to less than 1,000,000,000 VND, or other normal wildlife valued from 500,000,000 VND to less than 1,500,000,000 VND;

b) Illegal possession, transportation, trade of individuals, body parts, or products of endangered, precious, and rare species of Group IIB or Appendix II of CITES valued from 300,000,000 VND to less than 1,000,000,000 VND, or other wildlife species valued from 500,000,000 VND to less than 1,500,000,000 VND;

c) Crimes involving individuals, body parts, or products of species valued less than the minimum level regulated under point (a) and point (b) of this clause, but the offenders have already been subject to administrative penalties or convicted of similar crime without clearance of criminal records yet commit recidivism.

 

2. [Those who] Commit crimes under the following cases will be subject to a criminal fine of between 300,000,000 VND and 1,500,000,000 VND or imprisonment with a jail term of between three years and seven years:

a) Organized crime;

b) Abuse of position, power or abuse of the names of agencies or organizations;

c) Usage of prohibited hunting tools or methods;

d) Hunting in prohibited areas or during prohibited times;

dd) Illegal cross-border transporting/trading;

e) Infringements involving endangered, precious and rare species of Group IIB or Appendix II of CITES valued from 1,000,000,000 VND to less than 2,000,000,000 VND, or other normal species, their body parts or products valued at 1,500,000,000 VND and upwards;

g) Gain of illicit profits ranging from 200,000,000 VND to less than 500,000,000 VND;

h) Dangerous recidivism.

 

3. [Those who] Commit crimes under the following cases will be subject to imprisonment with a jail term of between seven years to twelve years:

a) Infringements involving endangered, precious and rare species of Group IIB or Appendix II of CITES, their body parts or products valued at 2,000,000,000 VND and upwards;

b) Gain of illicit profits of 500,000,000 VND and upwards;

 

4. The offenders may also be subject to a criminal fine of between 50,000,000 VND and 200,000,000 VND, or a ban from holding certain posts, practicing certain occupations, or doing certain jobs from 1 to 5 years.

 

5. Legal entities committing a crime defined under this Article shall be subject to sentences as follows:

a) If committing a crime under clause 1 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 300,000,000 VND and 1,000,000,000 VND;

b) If committing a crime under clause 2 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 1,000,000,000 VND and 3,000,000,000 VND;

c) If committing a crime under clause 3 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 3,000,000,000 VND and 5,000,000,000 VND or a temporary suspension of operation from six months to three years;

d) Permanent suspension of operation if the crime falls into cases prescribed in Article 79 of this Code;

dd) Legal entities shall also be subject to a criminal fine of between 50,000,000 VND and 200,000,000 VND, a prohibition from business, a prohibition from operation in certain domains or a prohibition from capital mobilization from one to three years.

 

Article 242: Destroying fishery resources

1. Those who violate regulations on protection of fishery resources under the following cases, which cause damage to fishery resources of between 100,000,000 VND and less than 500,000,000 VND, or which results in the amount of confiscated aquatic products valued from 50,000,000 VND to less than 200,000,000 VND, or in which the offenders were subject to administrative penalties or convicted of similar crimes without clearance of criminal record and yet commit recidivism, are subject to a criminal fine of between 50,000,000 VND and 300,000,000 VND, a non-custodial reform from up to three years or imprisonment with a jail term from six months to three years:

a) Usage of poisonous, explosive and other chemical substances, electricity or other prohibited methods and fishery tools to exploit or destroy fishery resources;

b) Exploitation of a fishery in prohibited areas or areas with prohibited terms under the laws;

c) Exploitation of aquatic species prohibited from being exploited under the laws;

d) Destruction of residences of aquatic species belonging to the list of endangered, precious and rare species under the laws;

dd) Injuries or damage to other people’s health resulting in a physical damage from 31% to 61%;

e) Violation of other provisions on protection of fishery resources.

 

2. [Those who] Commit crimes under the following cases will be subject to a criminal fine of between 300,000,000 VND and 1,000,000,000 VND or imprisonment with a jail term of between three years and five years:

a) Damage to fishery resources of between 500,000,000 VND and less than 1,500,000,000 VND or the value of confiscated aquatic products ranging from 200,000,000 VND to less than 500,000,000 VND;

b) Injuries or damages to two persons’ health resulting in a physical damage of 61% and upwards to each person, or injuries or damages to four persons’ health resulting in a physical damage of 31% and upwards to each person;

c) Human death as consequence.

 

3. [Those who] Commit crimes under the following cases will be subject to imprisonment with a jail term of between five years and ten years:

a) Damage to fishery resources of 1,500,000,000 VND and upwards or confiscated aquatic products valued at 500,000,000 VND and upwards;

b) Death to two persons and upwards as consequence.

 

4. The offenders can also be subject to a criminal fine of between 20,000,000 VND and 100,000,000 VND, or a ban from holding certain posts, practicing certain occupations, doing certain jobs from 1 to 5 years.

 

5. Legal entities committing a crime defined under this Article shall be subject to sentences as follows:

a) If commit a crime under clause 1 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 300,000,000 VND and 1,000,000,000 VND;

b) If commit a crime under clause 2 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 1,000,000,000 VND and 3,000,000,000 VND;

c) If commit a crime under clause 3 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 3,000,000,000 VND and 5,000,000,000 VND or a temporary suspension of operations from six months to three years;

d) Legal entities shall also be subject to a criminal fine of between 50,000,000 VND and 100,000,000 VND, a prohibition from business, a prohibition from operation in certain domains from one to three years, or a prohibition from capital mobilization from one to three years.

 

Article 244: Violating regulations on the management and protection of endangered, precious and rare species

1. Those who violate regulations on management and protection of endangered, precious and rare species prioritized for protection, or endangered, precious and rare species of Group IB or Appendix I of CITES under the following cases shall be subject to a fine of between 500,000,000 VND and 2,000,000,000 VND or imprisonment with a jail term of between 1 and 5 years:

a) Illegal hunting, catching, killing, rearing, caging, transporting, trading of endangered, precious and rare species prioritized for protection;

b) Illegal possession, transportation, trade of individuals, body parts, or products of species prescribed under point (a) of this clause, ivory tusks weighing from 2 to less than 20 kilograms, and rhino horns weighing from 0.05 to less than 1 kilogram;

c) Illegal hunting, catching, killing, rearing, caging, transporting and/or trading of endangered, precious and rare species listed in Group IB or Appendix I CITES, excluding species that fall under Point (a) this Article, at quantities between 3 and 7 individuals of mammal species, 7 and 10 individuals of bird and reptile species, or 10 and 15 individuals of other classes;

d) Illegal possession, transport, trade of vital body parts of the same type of between 3 and 7 individuals of mammal species, 7 and 10 individuals of birds and/or reptile species, or 10 and 15 individuals of other classes that fall under point (c) of this clause;

dd) Illegal hunting, catching, killing, rearing, caging, transporting and/or trading of species, or illegal possession, transport, trade of their vital body parts of the same type at quantities below the minimum level given for specific species types in points (b), (c) and (d) of this clause, but the offenders have been subject to administrative penalties or convicted of similar crime without clearance of criminal records yet commit recidivism.

 

2. [Those who] Commit crimes under the following cases will be subject to imprisonment with a jail term of between 5 to 10 years:

a) Organized crime;

b) Abuse of position, power or abuse of the names of agencies or organizations;

c) Usage of prohibited hunting tools or methods;

d) Hunt in prohibited areas or during prohibited times;

dd) Illegal cross-border transporting/trading;

e) Infringements involving endangered, precious and rare species prioritized for protection or vital body parts of the same type of between 7 and 10 individuals for mammal species, 7 and 10 individuals for bird and reptile species, and 10 and 15 individuals for other classes that fall under the list of endangered, precious and rare species prioritized for protection;

g) Infringements involving endangered, precious and rare species prescribed under point c of clause 1 of this Article or vital body parts of the same type of between 8 and 11 individuals for mammal species, 11 and 15 individuals for bird and reptile species, and 16 and 20 individuals for other classes;

h) Infringements involving 1 to 2 elephant and/or rhinoceros individuals or their vital body parts of the same type, 3 to 5 bear and/or tiger individuals or their vital body parts of the same type; ivory tusk weighing from 20 kilograms to less than 90 kilograms; rhino horn weighing from 1 kilogram to less than 9 kilograms;

i) Dangerous recidivism.

 

3. [Those who] Commit crimes under the following cases will be subject to imprisonment with a jail term of between 10 to 15 years:

a) Infringements involving endangered, precious and rare species prioritized for protection or vital body parts of the same type of 8 individuals and upwards for mammal species, 11 individuals and upwards for bird and reptile species, and 16 individuals and upwards for other classes that fall under the list of endangered, precious and rare species prioritized for protection;

b) Infringements involving endangered, precious and rare species prescribed under point c of clause 1 of this Article or vital body parts of the same type of 12 individuals and upwards for mammal species, 16 individuals and upwards for bird and reptile species, and 21 individuals and upwards for other classes;

c) Infringements involving 3 elephant and/or rhinoceros individuals and upwards or their vital body parts of the same type, 6 bear and/or tiger individuals and upwards or their vital body parts of the same type; ivory tusk weighing at 90 kilograms and upwards; rhino horn weighing at 9 kilograms and upwards;

 

4. The offenders may also be subject to a fine of between 50,000,000 VND and 200,000,000 VND, or a ban from holding certain posts, practicing certain occupations, or doing certain jobs for 1 to 5 years.

 

5. Legal entities committing a crime defined under this Article shall be subject to sentences as follows:

a) If commit a crime under clause 1 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 1,000,000,000 VND and 5,000,000,000 VND;

b) If commit a crime under clause 2 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 5,000,000,000 VND and 10,000,000,000 VND;

c) If commit a crime under clause 3 of this Article, a criminal fine of between 10,000,000,000 VND and 15,000,000,000 VND or a temporary suspension of operations from six months to three years;

d) Permanent suspension of operation if the crime falls into cases prescribed in Article 79 of this Code;

dd) Legal entities shall also be subject to a criminal fine of between 300,000,000 VND and 600,000,000 VND, a prohibition from business, a prohibition from operation in certain domains from one to three years, or a prohibition from capital mobilization from one to three years.

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