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1,285 People Involved In Corruption With 999 billion Kip Lost

Source: Vientiane Times

Some 1,285 people have been found to be involved in corrupt practices, defrauding the government of 999 billion kip, a government inspection carried out in 2018 revealed.

Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith delivered the news to the National Assembly (NA) on Friday after the Government Inspection Authority launched investigations into more than 1,000 targets and uncovered the corrupt activities.

Some 26.5 billion kip has been retrieved and the relevant authorities are continuing to recover the rest of the misappropriated money, the premier told the NA session.

Mr Thongloun provided the information when responding to questions raised by Assembly members at parliament’s biannual session concerning the action taken by the government to suppress corruption. Members pointed out that corruption had caused considerable loss of state assets.

The 1,285 people involved comprised 970 state officials and 315 business operators.

The guilty parties have and are being prosecuted in accordance with the law.

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Some 849 state officials have already been disciplined and the courts have handed down penalties to a number of people accused of corruption.

Previous reports also emerged that many state officials including those in senior positions had been transferred to other posts, lost their status as government officials, or were demoted.  

Mr Thongloun told the National Assembly that the government “has not neglected because the issue is of great interest to the people, members of the NA, and officials.”

“This is what has been done and action [to fight corruption] will continue.”
The premier said action to suppress corruption was essential to prevent the problem from escalating.

“The core sectors in charge of justice system management in our country must be decisive [in the anti-corruption drive],” he said.

The prime minister called for Assembly members to keep a close watch on the issue. The Government Inspection Authority has regularly carried out investigations into targets suspected of corruption.

The findings of their investigations have been reported to the government, the central committee of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party, the Politburo and the National Assembly on a regular basis, the prime minister said.

Mr Thongloun, who assumed office as prime minister in 2016, has announced the fight against corruption as one of the main agendas of his administration.

The premier and many of his cabinet members last week responded to questions raised at the National Assembly session, which continues until June 25.