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Cops unpunished for bribe

A district police chief and his deputy in Takeo province have been let off with only a warning after accepting a $100 bribe to release a youth arrested for drug use, provincial deputy police chief Uong Sarin said yesterday.

The two, Yorng Vanthy and You An, were summonsed for questioning in front of a provincial disciplinary commitee on Wednesday after 20-year-old Khath Sarath was released without charge, Sarin said.

“They were accused of freeing the drug user in exchange for the bribe – without reporting it to the chief of provincial police or sending the suspect to court,” he said.

Despite the committee concluding that the incident had happened, punishment for the officers had been deemed unnecessary, Sarin added.

“After questioning, the provincial disciplinary committee decided not to punish them or suspend them from their positions. But we have warned them against committing such an illegal act in the future.”

A repeat incident will result in the two officers being dismissed, Sarin added.

The pair were back at work as normal yesterday, a police officer who asked not to be named told the Post.

On Monday, the officer added, Sarath was arrested for allegedly using drugs. Vanthy and An ordered lower-ranking officers to release him in exchange for $100 from his family. The deal, the officer said, was that the police officials would not report the matter to their superiors or send the suspect to court.

“The suspect has since been rearrested and forwarded to the provincial court after his release was reported by other district police officers,” the unnamed officer said, adding that the second arrest had taken place on Tuesday.

Vanthy and An could be not be reached yesterday.

Meas Sopheak, a prosecutor at the provincial court, also could not be reached.

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