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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ACU arrests Interior, Justice Ministry staff

ACU arrests Interior, Justice Ministry staff

A police officer from the Ministry of Interior and an employee of the Ministry of Justice spent yesterday being questioned at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for allegedly defrauding a victim out of tens of thousands of dollars, court officials said yesterday.

The Anti-Corruption Unit last week arrested Nuon Sarath, from the Ministry of Justice, and police officer Keo Sophoan over the claims, investigating judge You Bunna said.

“I am still questioning them,” he said, declining to comment further on the details of the case.

A court employee who asked not to be named told the Post that the two men had a pending fraud case against them, which had been filed by another court official.

“They have already been  charged . . . with fraud. And now they’re being questioned by the investigative judge,” he said, adding that they had been arrested last Thursday.

The court worker claimed that the two men’s arrests followed their alleged victim – the other court official – paying them to put an end to a criminal case in which he was the subject.

His plan, however, backfired when the two men accepted the money, then chose to not involve themselves in the case, the court worker said. Subsequently, they had failed to return the money, which prompted the legal action against them.

Luch Sokleang, chief of the Ministry of Justice’s inspection department, confirmed that Sarath was an employee of the ministry but had been told to take leave due to “improper activities”.

“He was an officer and working with the ministry, but he was recently suspended,” Sokleang said, adding that the accused’s conduct had violated ministry rules and compromised its honour. “But until now, the Ministry of Justice was not aware the ACU had arrested him.”

ACU president Om Yentieng and spokesman Keo Remy were not available for comment yesterday, while the two accused, Sarath and Sophoan, also could not be reached.

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