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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Interior Ministry blames loan scam for delayed IDs

A man holds a Cambodian national identification card last year in Phnom Penh.
A man holds a Cambodian national identification card last year in Phnom Penh. Hong Menea

Interior Ministry blames loan scam for delayed IDs

Police tasked with collecting fees for issuing identity cards are in some instances using the money to provide short-term loans and waiting for the interest to be paid before processing the paperwork, according to the director of the Ministry of Interior’s Identification Department.

Responding to a slew of recent complaints on Facebook from citizens about the wait to process ID cards, Mao Chandara, chief at the department, said officials nationwide were slow in sending data, tardy with their work hours and holding on to fees until they had made some money of their own.

“They take money from people to make loans for two to three months and then transfer it to [money transfer service] Wing in order to get the interest,” he said during an annual police conference last week.

Police in the capital were the worst offenders, he added, when it came to lax processing of identity cards. He called on police officers to up their game and “to stop damaging the police force’s reputation”.

Interior Ministry spokesman Sarath Komsoth said yesterday that National Police chief Neth Savoeun had been made aware of the problem and was urging the force to be more professional.

“If anybody continues to be careless, [Savoeun] will take action through the administration to punish [those found to be slowing down the process],” Komsoth said.

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