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Clerk in hot water over stolen stamps

A commune clerk in Kampong Speu province has been accused of breach of trust after allegedly spending nearly a decade using stolen stamps bearing the commune chief’s signature to approve documents in exchange for bribes, police said yesterday.

Colonel Sam Samuon, provincial deputy police chief, said Rasmey Samaki commune clerk Kang Sarem had been sued by his former boss, ex-commune chief Ourn Uth, for allegedly taking bribes to improperly approve land licences, wedding licences and family registration documents using the stolen stamps.

“He has confessed ... that he had really stolen his commune chief’s stamp and his signature for use in stamping many documents, such as land purchase documents and wedding documents and so on since 2002,” said Samuon, who said that Sarem was not yet officially charged, and therefore not under arrest.

Samuon added that Sarem was allowed to return to his home, but was still the subject of police investigations.

“We will prepare his case and send it to the provincial court in this week,” he said.

An officer with the Rasmey Samaki commune police, who asked not to be named, told the Post that former commune chief Ourn Uth discovered Sarem’s alleged fraud after he retired early this year, and was surprised to have “found his name and signature on a number of land purchase documents in the commune”.

The officer added that Sarem was still currently serving as the commune’s clerk.

To contact the reporter on this story: Buth Reaksmey Kongkea at reaksmeykongkea.buth@phnompenhpost.com

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