The deputy permanent secretary for foreign affairs, Nutthavudh Photisaro, said the Immigration Bureau had earlier found two visa stamps illegally issued by the consulate-general office in Savannakhet.
A subsequent examination of visa stickers earmarked for this consulate back to 2008 revealed that a total of 500 stickers were missing, including the two detected by the Immigration Bureau.
The ministry had informed the Immigration Bureau office at Suvarnabhumi Airport to cancel visa numbers A8486001 to A8486500.
He said more investigation is needed into whether local employees or ministry officials are responsible for the disappearance. The initial assumption is that local officials are to blame, he added.
The report of visa stickers missing from the consulate in Laos follows the admission last Wednesday (August 21) that 300 visa stamps were missing from Thai embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and many had been sold and used to enter or leave Thailand.
Then another 2,000 visa stamps were found to have disappeared from a mail pouch sent to the Thai embassy in The Hague, in the Netherlands. The airline responsible for carrying the pouch has agreed to pay B26,000, the value of the visas, as compensation.
To help reduce illegal use of Thai visas, the ministry expects to launch its electronic visa system in October 2014, which will issue visa stamps with an image of the applicant shown on each.
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