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Charges dropped: Money was demanded, say parents

The parents of three youths arrested over a scuffle accused Takeo provincial police and a court prosecutor yesterday of seeking some $5,000 from them and other parents for declining to pursue charges.

Sok Phoan, 55, a farmer in Samrong district, said yesterday that his three sons were among 17 arrested at a wedding this month, and that after they were released and their charges dropped, provincial police – allegedly with the complicity of a prosecutor – visited the youths’ families seeking between $300 and $350 from each as a show of gratitude for their not having pressed the case.

“To pay for police, we all borrowed money from other people, and collecting a total of about $5,000 to give to the police and the prosecutor,” Phoan said.

Provincial police chief Ouk Samnang denied the accusations, saying deciding to drop charges is out of police control. But he nonetheless pledged to investigate.

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