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Cults official accused of corruption

The Ministry of Cults and Religion yesterday denied accusations levelled by a Takeo deputy provincial governor that the top ministry official in the province was uncooperative and had paid for his position.

Ministry spokesman Seng Somony said the bribery claim by Takeo deputy governor Un Vanna against provincial director of cults and religion Chhuong Van was not true, but pledged to look into whether Van had failed to cooperate with local authorities.

“We are studying . . . whether this is an individual or administrative issue,” he said. “For promotions through money or connections or nepotism we have often heard reports of this, but it is not true.”

Local newspaper Kampuchea Thmey posted screenshots of a Facebook post by Vanna on Tuesday in which he called on Religion Minister Him Chhem to educate Van, whom he alleged had paid for his position, taken bribes and did not cooperate with local officials.

“Monks took the exam twice in one month, and [he] might have conspired to [take money] without the provincial authority knowing,” he wrote.

The post was later removed, and both men were unreachable yesterday.

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