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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Prison guards accuse director of criminality

Prison guards accuse director of criminality

Prison guards accuse director of criminality

Gurds at Prey Veng provincial prison are calling on the Ministry of Interior to investigate the prison director, who guards say has cut their salaries by nearly 10 per cent without reason since January.

A prison guard who asked not to be identified, citing concerns for his safety, told the Post yesterday that prison director Var Yorn initially decreased each guard’s salary by 8,000 riel (US$2) in January, and this month made additional cuts of between 20,000 ($5) and 30,000 riel ($7.50).

“He did not explain the reason, he just ordered the accountant, who is his son, to cut our salary to keep in his pocket,” the guard said, bemoaning the fact that the guards’ already low salaries of between 300,000 ($75) and 320,000 ($80) riel per month were shrinking.

“I work day and night, and I still don’t have enough money to support my family, but the prison director still cuts my salary,” he said, urging officials to investigate.

Another prison guard who requested anonymity accused the director of corruption and nepotism.

“It is a family corruption because his [Var Yorn’s] son is the accountant, so he ordered his son to cut our salary,” the guard said.

Most of the staff now fear for their safety after the director threatened to uncover the identity of the guards who were making complaints and talking to the press, the guard added.

Var Yorn confirmed yesterday that he had cut the guards’ salaries, but disputed the amount claimed by the guards. He also said that he did so on orders from the Ministry of Interior’s prison department.

“I just took the money from my officers, about 31,000 riel ($7.75), in January,” he said.

“I did not do as they accused.”

Neither the director general nor the deputy general of the Ministry of Interior’s prison department could be reached for comment yesterday.

The department’s spokesman, Sorn Keo, said he was unaware of the issue, but that he would launch an investigation if a formal complaint was received.

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