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Two men jailed for paying teachers with counterfeit money

The deputy director of a Kandal province school suspected of paying his staff in fake 10,000 riel notes could face up to 20 years in jail: police.

A SECONDARY  school official and his associate were arrested by district police in Kandal province Sunday on suspicion of paying teachers in counterfeit 10,000 riel notes, police said.

"Vann Vong Reaksmey, 55, the deputy director of Cheung Kerb secondary school, and his partner, So Pha, a 60-year-old vendor, were arrested after receiving complaints from teachers that they had been paid in fake money," said Seung Seng Ly, chief of the provincial Minor Crimes Department.

The two men face up to 20  years in prison if convicted of fraud, said Eav Chamreun, the provincial police chief.

Police confiscated 5.53 million riels (US$1,341.90) in counterfeit 10,000 riel notes, Seung Seng Ly said.

The two men said they had three other accomplices who remain free, said Seung Seng Ly.

The teachers only discovered their wages were fake when they tried to buy gasoline, he said, suggesting that it was not immediately obvious to the teachers that the notes were counterfeit.

Choung Sam On, chief of the Kandal Stung Education Department, said that he gave Vann Vong Reaksmey the money to pay his staff in 100,000 riel notes, not 10,000 riel notes.

"I don't know how he exchanged all that money and got fake money like this," he said. "When he gets back from the prison, I cannot allow him to work in this school again because his staff has lost confidence in him."

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association (CITA), said events like these dishonour Cambodia's teachers.

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