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PRESS RELEASEApril 10, 2024

World Bank Group Debars Individual for Fraudulent Practices

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2024 — The World Bank Group today announced the 43-month debarment with conditional release of Mr. Bounlert Chanthasounthone, a national of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (“Laos”), in connection with fraudulent practices as part of the Reducing Rural Poverty and Malnutrition Project (the “RRPM Project”).

The debarment makes Mr. Chanthasounthone, and any firms that he controls, ineligible to participate in projects and operations financed by institutions of the World Bank Group. It is part of a settlement agreement under which he does not contest culpability and responsibility for the underlying sanctionable practices and agrees to meet specified compliance conditions as a condition for release from debarment.

The RRPM Project aims to support the design and implementation of nutrition-sensitive social assistance programs in Laos. According to the facts of the case, Mr. Chanthasounthone submitted a falsified prior consulting contract to support the negotiation of an inflated salary for his consultant contract under the project, which is a fraudulent practice. Mr. Chanthasounthone also simultaneously claimed and received payments under the RRPM Project and another project that is financed by the Asian Development Bank, which is a fraudulent practice.

The settlement agreement provides for a reduced period of debarment considering Mr. Chanthasounthone’s cooperation with the investigation and voluntary restraint from seeking additional World Bank Group-financed contracts. As a condition for release from sanction under the terms of the settlement agreement, Mr. Chanthasounthone commits to undertaking corporate ethics training that demonstrates a commitment to personal integrity and business ethics; commits that any firms that he controls will implement a corporate ethics training program; and commits to continue to fully cooperate with the World Bank Group Integrity Vice Presidency.

The debarment of Mr. Chanthasounthone qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks (MDBs) under the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions that was signed on April 9, 2010.



In Washington
Stephanie A. Crockett


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