Sanum wins appeal case against Laos government

Sanum Investments has won a case before the Appeal Court in Singapore against the Laos government claiming capital investment benefit losses through unfair taxes.

The Macau-based company sought redress under a bilateral investment treaty signed by Laos and China in 1993. Reversing a decision by the Singapore High Court, the Court of Appeal has ruled that Macau would be included under the pact though the former Portuguese colony reverted to China only later, in 1999, local media reported.

Sanum began proceedings against the government in 2012, taking the case to an independent arbitration panel, which chose to settle the matter in Singapore.

The company used to operate the Savan Vegas Hotel & Entertainment property on the border with Cambodia. The government seized the property in 2012 claiming Sanum owed back taxes and penalties.

In May, Sanum began three separate legal proceedings in the U.S. and the Netherlands over the subsequent sale of the property.

“All of the actions taken by the Lao Government over the past two years have been a blatant attempt not only to avoid, but systematically obliterate its legal obligation to work with us in good faith,” said Jody Jordahl, President of Sanum Investments. “If the Government had followed the terms of our agreement, we would not be taking these actions,” the company said in a release at the time.