Authorities in Laos have said the country has sustained losses of over LAK 6 trillion in the past five years due to corruption.
According to a report by Pasaxon Newspaper, The State Inspection Authority of Laos has investigated 4,129 targets, and also inspected the value of 4,601 state investment projects, finding a total of LAK 5.689 trillion, USD 31.77 million, and 36.89 million baht unaccounted for.
President of the State Inspection Authority, Mr. Khamphan Phommathat, said at a recent session of the 9th National Assembly that authorities had noted the losses over a five-year period from 2016 to 2020.
Meanwhile, over LAK 1,064 billion, USD 2.93 million, THB 11.16 million, and four vehicles were successfully recovered by authorities.
“We also discovered logging operations in remote areas, with timber smuggled into factories and illegal export of timber products,” Said Mr. Khamphan.
Over 11,000 cubic meters and 33 tonnes of illegal timber were confiscated.
A total of 140 people have been prosecuted, including 58 government employees, 42 employees of state-owned enterprises, 34 employees of private companies, and six other individuals, according to the Vientiane Times.
Inspection Authorities Move to President’s Office
In a move to allow more independence, the State Inspection Authority, previously known as the Government Inspection Authority, has recently been separated from the government and will now be supervised directly by the Office of the President.
The move is hoped will increase the effectiveness of the organization in investigating the performance of the government and civil servants.
The State Audit Organization, previously under the supervision of the National Assembly, is also to move to the President’s Office.
After electing the new government, including Thongloun Sisoulith as President and Phanhkham Viphavanh as Prime Minister, the inaugural session of the 9th National Assembly elected former Head of the Party Central Committee’s Propaganda and Training Board, Khamphan Phommathat, as President of the State Inspection Authority.
Mr. Malaythong Kommasith was elected President of the State Audit Organisation.