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Ministry official takes his own life

The chief of the Ministry of Social Affairs office in Svay Rieng town committed suicide yesterday after allegedly stealing money from government employees’ pensions that he was unable to pay back, provincial police and social affairs officials said.

Provincial social affairs chief Var Saren said that Vor Vai, 50, had received from the provincial treasury an amount of money earmarked for pension payments to retired teachers, civil servants and other government employees.

After disbursing some of the money to its intended recipients, Vai spent a still unknown portion of the remainder, which he found himself unable to pay back, he said.

“He has committed suicide by hanging himself with a nylon rope at a tree nearby his house,” Saren said.

“He was found dead by his wife after she woke up and went to the toilet behind the house at about 6:00am.”

Vai hanged himself from a tree near his house in Kampong Chamlorng commune’s Veal Rovoeuk village at about 4:00am.

“He was a good officer, and has been working and serving the country for over 30 years,” he added.

Pol Sareth, an officer with the Svay Rieng town police, confirmed that their investigation pointed to the missing money as the apparent motive for Vai’s suicide.

“He committed suicide because he had taken his unit’s money for his own use, but had no money to return to his unit, so he decided to commit suicide to end his problem,” he said.

Vor Vai’s family could not be contacted for comments yesterday.

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

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