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School head accused of embezzling funds

Two teachers at a high school in Kampong Thom province’s Baray district who have accused the school’s director of embezzling more than four million riel (US$1,000) called on authorities to intervene yesterday.

Sea Bunlong and Heng Makara said yesterday that despite filing a complaint more than a week ago to the Ministry of Education against Sao Thy, director of the Hun Sen Srah Banteay high school, they have yet to hear of an investigation.

The two teachers have accused Sao Thy of stealing government funds earmarked for the school.

“I am part of a school commission that is responsible for deciding how to use the government money, but nobody told me how it was used,” Sea Bunlong told the Post yesterday.

“I suggested to Sao Thy that he have a meeting to discuss how to spend the funds, but he never held a meeting and then he announced that the money was all spent,” he added.

Heng Makara supported his colleague’s claim.

“Sao Thy said that in order to spend the funds, we must have a meeting and reach a joint decision, but he didn’t do what he said.”

Sao Thy dismissed the allegations yesterday and accused the two teachers of embezzling the funds. He welcomed an investigation by the Ministry of Education, saying: “If they filed a complaint to the Ministry of Education, it is good. When the ministry comes to investigate, they will know the truth.”

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association, sided with the two teachers, and accused Sao Thy of lying to defend himself.

Sea Bunlong said he purposely did not file a complaint with provincial authorities because he did not trust Kem Piseth, the head of Kampong Thom province’s education department, who he said was biased.

Kem Piseth said such allegations were “crazy” and promised to investigate the issue if he received a complaint.

“I have never sided with bad people,” he said.

Officials at the Ministry of Education could not be reached for comment yesterday.



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