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U.S. Embassy, Diplomatic Security Service provides USD $48,000 of security equipment to Lao PDR
July 27, 2021

A group of people, some in police uniforms, pose together with a display of equipment

VIENTIANE, LAO PDR — On July 26, 2021, Joy Sakurai, Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy to Laos, and officials from the U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service presented thirty ATOM  ADR300 Document Readers worth USD $48,000 to Lieutenant Colonel Souvannakone Siphamavong, Deputy Director General of the Immigration Police Department and Administrative Director of Wattay International Airport Immigration, Ministry of Public Security as part of the United States’ ongoing support of Lao law enforcement in combatting transnational crime.

The U.S. government purchased these scanners to provide the Lao Department of Immigration with state-of-the-art electronic Machine-Readable Travel Document (eMRTD) readers to assist in identifying fraudulent or altered travel documents at international checkpoints throughout the Lao PDR.  The ATOM Document Readers will allow Immigration Officers to detect fraudulent documents by capturing high-resolution images of travel documents in Visible, Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV) light, quickly decoding Machine Readable Zones (MRZ) on travel documents, and reading RFID data from eDocuments, including those meeting the latest ICAO LDS standards.

“I am honored to formally hand over 30 state-of-the-art Electronic Machine-Readable Travel Document (eMRTD) scanners to the Department of Immigration Police, Ministry of Public Security,” said DCM Sakurai.  “These scanners are manufactured by experts in the identity and security applications that are widely used by law enforcement agencies worldwide, including the United States.  We believe that this advanced technology will reduce operational costs and increase the efficiency of the work at the various international checkpoints throughout the Lao PDR by enabling Lao Immigration the ability to scrutinize and verify potential fraudulent documents.  We thank and recognize the Lao Immigration Police Department who protect Laos’ national security at border checkpoints throughout the country.  I am positive that these scanners will benefit both the Department of Immigration Police and the Lao people.  This year is the 5th anniversary of the U.S. – Lao Comprehensive Partnership, and we look forward to continuing to develop a stronger partnership with Laos in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific.”

The U.S. Department of State, Diplomatic Security Service, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement (INL) office, and the Lao Immigration Police Department, Ministry of Public Security have a shared goal of enhancing Laos’ border security by combatting criminal travel, human trafficking, and other transnational crime.  Over the last two years, Diplomatic Security Service Special Agents have provided law enforcement and security training and other assistance to the Lao Immigration Police Department, including fraudulent document and human trafficking training to over 300 Lao Immigration officers throughout the country.