Laos retrieves 6.1 mln USD from corrupt officials

2017-04-19 06:15:48 GMT2017-04-19 14:15:48(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

VIENTIANE, April 19 (Xinhua) -- The State Inspection Authority (SIA) of Laos has retrieved more than 50 billion Lao kip (6.1 million U.S. dollars) over the past two years from corrupt officials who had embezzled state properties.

"We acknowledge that there are enormous challenges and difficulties to get money back as corrupt officials have already spent or hidden some of it, but we will try our best to retrieve the lost money for the state," Lao state-run daily Vientiane Times quoted a senior SIA official as saying on Wednesday.

Last year, Lao Ministry of Finance's Inspection Department revealed findings in a report that more than 785.8 billion Lao kip had been spent on 60 so-called "ghost projects" schemes for which money has been budgeted but did not actually exist.

As Laos has seen millions of U.S. dollars embezzled as a result of corruption, the government is determined to crack down on that abuse so that more resources can be spent on the country's development.

SIA is currently focusing on examining sectors related to revenue collection and budget expenditure so that Laos can collect revenue based on its plans and expend it more effectively, reported Vientiane Times. (1 Lao kip = 0.00012 U.S. dollar)