Police Face Difficulties with Violations by Foreign Nationals

A foreign national apprehended for committing a crime in Laos.

Lao police officials see difficulties in managing, inspecting, and resolving law violations by foreign nationals residing and living in Laos.

Lao Security News reports that a population census undertaken by police officials in 2021 revealed that there were 1,128 foreign families residing in Vientiane Capital, with 347 of those foreigners from 14 different nationalities having broken Lao regulations and laws.

Those violations are breaches of the decree No. 184 on marriage Between a Lao Citizen and Foreign Citizen, Alien, or Stateless Person. Others include communication crime, labor exploitation, property damage, mayhem, trespassing, illegal occupation, undocumented residence, illegal immigration and drug use. 

Illegal gambling, expired residence, contract violation and violations of media law were also recorded.

Police officials have fined those caught violating the regulations, including 139 travel agent companies, and instructed them to follow the law in the future.

Transparency throughout law enforcement proceedings has been raised as a concern. Many people who disobey the law may not even be aware of it due to a general lack of comprehension of the Lao legal system as well as considerable variation in enforcement.