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Graft inquiry ‘underway’

A special committee created by the Ministry of Interior has begun its probe into fresh accusations of corruption and bribery filed against Kampong Thom provincial police chief Chou Sam On, the embattled top cop confirmed yesterday.

Sam On, who has flatly denied the allegations, told The Post that officials from the new special committee began their investigation in the province on Monday, after a separate group concluded a similar investigation last month.

“Now they have come again and we do not know the result yet. The investigation might take longer . . . They have met with the deputy provincial police chief to ask about the issue, too,” Sam On said.

In February, six provincial police officials requested that Sam On, human resources officer Ith Kim Sron, and provincial security chief Khieu Channy, be transferred for engaging in “a conspiracy”. The letter accused Sam On of accepting bribes of up to $7,000 to make applicants police officers, and bribes of up to $3,000 for promotions.

After an initial investigation, five of Sam On’s deputy provincial police chiefs stepped forward, all also accusing him and Kim Sron of charging money for promotions.

“I believe the committee will find justice,” Sam On said yesterday, claiming that his deputies had made up the charges in a bid to usurp him.

“They are making war to grab power. They want to damage our reputation,” he said.

Pen Vibol, head of the Ministry of Interior’s personnel department, was tight-lipped on the issue, only confirming that the investigation was underway.

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