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State forest sold Two officials sacked over land ‘graft’

Kampong Chhnang authorities had sacked the Teuk Phos district governor and police chief after subordinate officers accused them of conspiring to sell almost 300 hectares of state-owned forest land to a private company, provincial officials said yesterday.

According to a Kampong Chhnang official who declined to be named, Ou Sakhorn and Kem Sareth, the governor and police chief of Teuk Phos respectively, were dismissed after multiple subordinates alleged that Sakhorn had used their names to divvy up and sell land in Thnol Keng and Preach Chruov vill-ages, then pocket the proceeds.

But provincial police commissioner Ath Khem denied the dismissal stemmed from the graft accusations, saying that it was simply a routine “rotation for government officials”.

Sakhorn and Sareth could not be reached for comment, nor could Kampong Chhnang provincial governor Touch Marim.

The anonymous official added Sakhorn had been suspended in 2006 over a 106-hectare land dispute.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kim Sarom at sarom.kim@phnompenhpost.com

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