State Inspection Authority: USD 732 Million Lost to Corruption Since 2016  

Laos has lost more than USD 700 billion to corruption.

Since 2016, the Lao government has lost funds in various currencies totaling USD 732 million to corruption, according to a recent report.

The State Inspection Authority said at a meeting held in Oudomxay Province that 3,690 Party members have been disciplined for incidence of corruption since 2016.

More than 2,000 of these were expelled, with others demoted and banned from attending further Party activities, Vientiane Times reports.

The State Inspection Authority released its report after completing an audit of infrastructure development projects, mining and timber processing firms, as well as land use and management in collaboration with provincial authorities.

Of the massive amounts lost to corruption since 2016, authorities have been able to recover only LAK 1.82 trillion (approximately USD 152 million) embezzled by corrupt officials.

Inspectors also examined state investment projects and discovered that some officials were implicated in the misuse of funds, including state officials and company executives.

Road and bridge construction projects have been a major activity for graft, according to the report.

Standing Member of the Party Central Committee Secretariat and Vice President of Laos, Dr. Bounthong Chitmany, who attended the meeting, urged the State Inspection Authority and other relevant sectors to step up their efforts and take greater responsibility in exposing corruption and corrupt officials.

Laos sits at 128th place on the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) out of 180 countries for 2021.