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Laotian investigators participate in a series of inter-agency practical trainings to combat corruption crimes

Vientiane (Lao PDR), 20 October 2016
- From 10-14 and 18-20 October, a total of 74 law enforcement and criminal justice officers actively participated in a series of two practical trainings to combat corruption in Lao PDR. These trainings were targeted for officers from the State inspection and Anti-Corruption Authority (SIAA), who practiced investigation techniques to identify financial crimes and corruption jointly with officers from the Police, the Anti-Money Laundering office, State Audit Organization, judges and prosecutors.

Lao PDR has long suffered from the effects of corruption, and a number of positive developments have been identified in the past year. Lao PDR ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2009, participated successfully in the first review first cycle in 2012 (International Cooperation and Criminalisation), and is now preparing the second review cycle (Asset Recovery and Prevention of Corruption). The State Inspection and Anti-Corruption Authority (SIAA) has been mandated to investigate and act upon corruption crimes. 'Corruption and illicit financial flows divert a large amount of resources for the country, and this series of training with UNODC anti-corruption experts is crucial for us to improve our capacities to inspect and audit megaprojects', highlighted Mr. Vilayvanh Boutdakham, Vice-President of the SIAA.

In the first 5-day training workshop, participants were presented with practical group exercises and the investigation of a case involving a senior provincial official who awards a logging concession to a foreign businessman and the preparation of the case for trial with UNODC anti-corruption expert. In the second 3-day training course, investigators learnt about the procurement cycle, corruption financial crimes in megaprojects, and were provided tools to inspect these projects for possible corruption. 'These trainings provided us very useful information and concrete tools that we can apply to our work', noted Mr Soulaphone Silavy, Deputy Director of the Investigative Department, representing participants of the training.

This first series of trainings will be used as a basis for the design of a two-year training programme for the State Inspection and Anti-Corruption Authority (SIAA), law enforcement agencies and criminal justice sector to address corruption in the country.

These trainings workshops were generously supported by the INL, US Government with the aim of strengthening national and regional capacities to identify and combat corruption crimes.

Read more about UNODC Regional Anti-Corruption Programme.