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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SRP letter calls for investigation into alleged electrity theft

SRP letter calls for investigation into alleged electrity theft

Three parliamentarians say three branches of an ice supplier have been underpaying for electricity used to run their machines.

IN A letter addressed to Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy Suy Sem, three parliamentarians from the opposition Sam Rainsy Party have called for an investigation into the ice supplier Super Ice, which they said has been stealing state electricity.

In the March 16 letter, the parliamentarians - Ly Sreyvyna, Khim Laky and Men Sothavarin - allege that the owners of three different branches of the ice supplier have been underpaying for the electricity used to run their machinery.

Two of the branches are located in Phnom Penh, in Tuol Kork and Russey Keo districts, and one is located in Takhmao district, Kandal province. The letter does not identify the owners, and efforts to obtain these names from Super Ice were unsuccessful.

Officials from Super Ice have repeatedly refused to speak to Post reporters.

The letter alleges that Electricite du Cambodge (EdC) officials are complicit in the ongoing theft.

The letter does not say when the alleged theft began, nor does it place a specific monetary value on the electricity allegedly being stolen, asserting only that "thousands" of US dollars have been stolen per month.

The SRP parliamentarians first sent the letter to National Assembly President Heng Samrin, who signed it on March 23. A copy of the letter was given to journalists Thursday.

Limited information

Khim Laky told the Post Thursday that he did not know when the alleged theft began or the value of the electricity that has allegedly been stolen.  

Suy Sem could not be reached for comment Thursday. Two secretaries of state at the ministry, Ith Praing and Khlaut Randy, both said they could not comment on the letter because they had not seen it.

EdC Director General Keo Rattanak declined to comment. But a senior EdC official who spoke on condition of anonymity said he would not be surprised if such a theft was being perpetrated, though he said he doubted the theft, if it was indeed occurring, was very large.

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