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beware wattay international airport scam

Sydney, Australia
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4 posts
7 reviews
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beware wattay international airport scam

flew into wattay international airport midyear 2013, went through customs & immigration paying for visa etc and left airport carefree & looking forward to a good adventure in laos for a few weeks, 7 days later i intended to go from vientiane into nearby thailand for a day trip, on arriving at the laos/thai border i was questioned by laos authorities that there was a problem with my laos visa...the official had an unusual smirk on his face saying that i was not allowed to leave the country & that i had to go back to wattay airport & sort out the issue there, on arriving back at wattay airport i found a laos immigration official who took me to an upstairs office, the official told me in a very serious tone that my visa had no payment stamp on it, that i was in laos illegally, that if i paid US$100 the problem could be 'fixed', i feel this is an organised scam by laos officials, i never looked at the visa i was issued on arrival, i never knew the visa must have "paid' stamped on it, i can only say to future travelers to wattay international airport...ENSURE THE SUPPLIED VISA ON ARRIVAL HAS 'PAID' STAMPED ON IT

Oraison, France
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487 posts
118 reviews
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1. Re: beware wattay international airport scam

??? we entered laos in huai xay and exited in pakse airport in january 2013 ... after reading your post we checked our passports and there are no stamp "paid" on these documents ???

We both have " a laotian red stamp " impossible to read or understand ,a stamp "used" I got probably in pakse and the name of the officer who delivered the visa

I did not have any problem with customs and immigration when we crossed the border for thailand ...

if someone could give us more explanations about this .... ??? for crossing next january ...

one more trick to think about or not ??

lewes uk
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2. Re: beware wattay international airport scam

Hi,

The stamp seems to be variable. On some of my visas I have have a red 'fee paid' stamp on the bottom left corner and on others not. Sometimes visas from the same year are different in that regard and yet I've not had a problem leaving the country so it would be interesting to get to the bottom of the situation. From what I can see on mine, it's the ones issued at Huay Xai that are not stamped.

Cheers

Sydney, Australia
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4 posts
7 reviews
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3. Re: beware wattay international airport scam

let me say im being 100% genuine in what ive stated previously, it would be interesting to get to the bottom of it yes, though im no policeman, & intend to visit laos again someday so im not going to comment further on this matter, i would imagine if my ID were compromised i may have a hard time when i tried to enter this wonderful country again

Vientiane
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6,227 posts
86 reviews
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4. Re: beware wattay international airport scam

I have never heard this before and greatly doubt the veracity of this post.

Vientiane, Laos
Destination Expert
for Vientiane
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3,197 posts
275 reviews
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5. Re: beware wattay international airport scam

I have dozens of Lao visas over 3 passports and none have a "paid" stamp. However I certainly wouldn't put it past immigration officials to take the opportunity to relieve you of some of your hard earned $.

I once had to be rushed to intensive care in Udon Thani, and despite having a letter of passage from the Aussie high comm, and the immigration office at the border having been prewarned we were on our way, they still wouldn't let the ambulance pass without a $50 "gift" to the immigration boss.

Oregon
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1,092 posts
44 reviews
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6. Re: beware wattay international airport scam

Just for the good of the order, I checked my current and previous passport: Of five entry visas to Lao, I have one from 23 Nov. 2006 which has a red "fee paid" stamp on the lower left of the visa. The others have none, and one of them does not even have the "used" stamp on it. I believe the one from 2006 was for arrival at LP.

philly
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2 posts
35 reviews
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7. Re: beware wattay international airport scam

A similar issue happened to me today in Luang Prabang. My passport had not been properly stamped upon entering Laos at LP airport 3 days ago, and today on exit I was threatened with missing my flight if I don't pay up $200 with receipt, or $100 without. Check other Immigration-related posts for Laos here and you will see that this problem in Laos is pervasive. I have traveled all around the world and never faced immigration officials this flagrantly corrupt. Not saying this will necessarily happen to any of you reading the post, just that it might - please be prepared.

Oregon
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8. Re: beware wattay international airport scam

Since my post of 22 Sept. 2013, I have been in and out of Vientiane with no difficulty. I crossed by land from Nhong Khai, and my visa does not have a red "used" stamp on it. Crossing was on 16 January 2014. Twelve days later I flew back to Thailand from VTE with no questions and no issues whatsoever. I do note that the visa's issuing officer's name is imprinted on each visa along with his signature. Given that, it would seem to be difficult to argue that rules have not been complied with.

Oslo, Norway
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423 posts
57 reviews
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9. Re: beware wattay international airport scam

Hmmmm...reading threads on TA and stumbles upon this one as im preparing for my first Laos visit.

When and if you are "brought up to a second floor office" and they tell you to pay a 100 bucks....what do you do if you dont have a single penny on you? Do they politley follow you down to the nearest ATM?

Sounds a bit bizzarr my question here but this was the first thing that popped my mind when reading it...

I suppose they all want this sorted out before heading downstairs and into the public again right?(:

Vientiane
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6,227 posts
86 reviews
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10. Re: beware wattay international airport scam

This scam does not exist. Don't panic.