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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Two Svay Rieng officers accuse boss of accepting bribes

Two Svay Rieng officers accuse boss of accepting bribes

Two Svay Rieng officers accuse boss of accepting bribes

The officers say a top official in Svay Rieng’s serious crime office released a rape suspect prematurely after a cash payment

A HIGH-ranking officer of Svay Rieng's serious crime office has been accused by two police officers in his department of taking money from suspects in exchange for releasing them without charge.

The top official was accused last week of taking a bribe of six million riels (US$1,500 dollars) from a man who had been arrested in connection with a rape in Romeas Haek district. The suspect was held for just a few hours at the offices of the division before being released.

The whistleblowing police officers both work in the province's serious crime division. Both asked not to be named. They said officers in their division regularly released suspects after being paid off and that they wanted to speak out against such corrupt practises.

"This latest case happened on Tuesday last week when [the official] released this man who stood accused of rape," one of the officers told the Post. "After spending just a few hours in his office, he was set free."

"The reason I know this is because the suspect lives near the father of the girl who was raped, and the father came to complain that the accused had been released," he explained.

Both whistleblowers said that suspects held by the serious crime division paid six million riels to avoid having their cases sent to the provincial court and to obtain their freedom.

Accusation denied

When the Post tried to contact the official, his phone was turned off. His boss denied any knowledge of the bribery allegations.

"I don't know anything about this," said Ros Viravuth, the head of the province's serious crime division. "I have never taken any money from suspects."

Prach Rem, Svay Rieng's provincial police chief, declined to comment on the allegations, saying he was on his way to a medical appointment.

The chief of Svay Rieng's prison, Ken Savoeun, said he was not aware of the allegations against the police division. But he said his jail is run in accordance with the law.

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