The head of the country’s anti-graft body has said he has received two death threats since the unit responsible for directing investigations into public and private-sector corruption was established in 2010.
“They wanted to claim my life two times, so the car I use has had the plates changed to private numbers,” ACU chief Om Yentieng said to a packed conference room at Khemarak University on Sunday.
“They don’t use guns, so we don’t know their plans. At that time they planned to crash large trucks into my car. That was two years ago.”
The selection of Yentieng to head the ACU in 2010 was strongly contested by rights groups.
In February 2009, the London-based watchdog Global Witness reported that Yentieng, who is a senior adviser to Prime Minister Hun Sen, was one of several high-ranking officials granted mining licences in a “non-transparent and highly dubious” manner.
Khieu Sopheak, spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, said he had not received any formal complaints of death threats from Yentieng.
Chan Soveth, a senior investigator for local rights group Adhoc, urged the government to investigate the case.
“They should take legal action to bring the perpetrators to justice,” he said. “If this can happen with a government officer, and they still do not take any legal action, what chance do ordinary people have?”