Authorities in Saysettha District, Vientiane Capital have arrested a man for embezzling over LAK 400 million to finance a gambling addiction.
The 40-year-old man, identified as Mr. Sayphone of Sikhottabong District, Vientiane Capital, was arrested after admitting to siphoning funds from his employer to pay for online gaming, according to the Economic Criminal Investigation Unit of Saysettha Public Security Office.
“In early 2019, I became addicted to online gambling and I deceived customers from my company into making transfers into my personal bank account,” Mr. Sayphone was quoted as saying.
“I received a total of THB 1,243,558 and LAK 8,698,999 and I used it to gamble,” he added.
Despite agreeing to repay the funds, the victim has continued to press charges, according to the police report.
Gambling remains strictly remains illegal for Lao citizens in Laos, with significant fines against perpetrators.
Under the Lao Penal Code, any person indulging in forbidden gambling shall be fined from LAK 200,000 to LAK 2,000,000, while those who allow their premises to be used for gambling can face imprisonment.
The legality of online gambling remains unclear, however, addiction to gambling online is becoming more pervasive and has been linked to several recent thefts and robberies.