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Trial of disgraced ex-police chief starts

A disgraced former Mean­chey district police chief faced corruption charges at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday in connection with the alleged misappropriation of almost $700,000 between 2006 and 2014.

Presiding judge Kor Vandy said Hy Narin, 60, was charged with misappropriating public funds, misappropriating civil servants’ salaries and illegally pilfering from the national budget. He faces up to 10 years in prison.

Narin was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Unit in October on suspicions that he been embezzling money via eight different schemes and scams, including taking the salaries of ghost employees, overcharging villagers for official documentation, making his officers buy gear that is meant to be provided free of charge and requiring kickbacks from junior officers.

Yesterday, he confessed to receiving some 10 million riel ($2,500) monthly from a police accountant out of funds collected from the salaries of ghost workers and from bribe-payers such as illegal business owners. The former police chief said that he personally only took half of the funds available, with the rest shared between his deputies and other officers.

“But I did not take this money for only my own use. It was used to repair the district police office’s broken roof, for renovations and to buy gasoline, furniture and other materials for everyone’s use in the office,” he said.

Narin also claimed that all police districts in Phnom Penh had similar arrangements. Senior police officials could not be reached for comment on that allegation. His trial will continue on April 10.

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