Laos lost $767 million to corruption since 2016 – state inspector

The Lao government has lost $767 million to corruption in the past six years, media reports referred to the country’s State Inspection Authority.

The leading sources of the widespread graft are government development and investment projects such as road and bridge construction, as well as illegal logging and wood trade, the authority said in a report published on April 11.

Nearly 3,700 members of the communist Lao People’s Revolutionary Party have been disciplined for the offense, with 2,019 expelled and 154 people fined in the period.

The Lao government has repeatedly vowed to address corrupt practices in politics and all economic sectors because it realised that they are deterring potential foreign investors from putting money into much-needed infrastructure and development in the landlocked nation.

In theory, individuals who embezzle more than $200,000 are subject to paying a fine and being jailed for life.

Weak law enforcement

However, despite the legal framework to prevent abuse of power, public sector fraud, embezzlement and bribery is in place, it is rarely fully enforced given Laos’ weak and inefficient judiciary system which itself is susceptible to bribes, and officials are rarely prosecuted.

State Inspection Authority president Khamphanh Phommathat has pledged to tackle the problem, saying that inspections are “one of the most important tasks” of the government and the ruling party to fight corruption.

“Corruption a major threat to development”

Laos’ vice president Bounthong Chitmany has called on the inspection authority and officials in other sectors to expose corruption and punish those responsible.

“Our party considers corruption to be a major threat to the existence and development of our country,” he was quoted as saying by Vientiane Times.

“Not only that, it creates social injustice and affects the trust of people in the government and the party,” he added.

Berlin, Germany-based Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Laos at 128 of 180 countries in the world. Laos received a score of 30 on a scale of 0-100, on which zero means highly corrupt and 100 means very clean. Within Southeast Asia, Laos is the third-most corrupt country behind Myanmar and Cambodia.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

 

 

The Lao government has lost $767 million to corruption in the past six years, media reports referred to the country’s State Inspection Authority. The leading sources of the widespread graft are government development and investment projects such as road and bridge construction, as well as illegal logging and wood trade, the authority said in a report published on April 11. Nearly 3,700 members of the communist Lao People’s Revolutionary Party have been disciplined for the offense, with 2,019 expelled and 154 people fined in the period. The Lao government has repeatedly vowed to address corrupt practices in politics and all...

The Lao government has lost $767 million to corruption in the past six years, media reports referred to the country’s State Inspection Authority.

The leading sources of the widespread graft are government development and investment projects such as road and bridge construction, as well as illegal logging and wood trade, the authority said in a report published on April 11.

Nearly 3,700 members of the communist Lao People’s Revolutionary Party have been disciplined for the offense, with 2,019 expelled and 154 people fined in the period.

The Lao government has repeatedly vowed to address corrupt practices in politics and all economic sectors because it realised that they are deterring potential foreign investors from putting money into much-needed infrastructure and development in the landlocked nation.

In theory, individuals who embezzle more than $200,000 are subject to paying a fine and being jailed for life.

Weak law enforcement

However, despite the legal framework to prevent abuse of power, public sector fraud, embezzlement and bribery is in place, it is rarely fully enforced given Laos’ weak and inefficient judiciary system which itself is susceptible to bribes, and officials are rarely prosecuted.

State Inspection Authority president Khamphanh Phommathat has pledged to tackle the problem, saying that inspections are “one of the most important tasks” of the government and the ruling party to fight corruption.

“Corruption a major threat to development”

Laos’ vice president Bounthong Chitmany has called on the inspection authority and officials in other sectors to expose corruption and punish those responsible.

“Our party considers corruption to be a major threat to the existence and development of our country,” he was quoted as saying by Vientiane Times.

“Not only that, it creates social injustice and affects the trust of people in the government and the party,” he added.

Berlin, Germany-based Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index ranked Laos at 128 of 180 countries in the world. Laos received a score of 30 on a scale of 0-100, on which zero means highly corrupt and 100 means very clean. Within Southeast Asia, Laos is the third-most corrupt country behind Myanmar and Cambodia.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

 

 

NO COMMENTS

Leave a Reply