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Military police official dismisses graft claims

Military police official dismisses graft claims

A senior National Military Police commander has denied accusations he’s been skimming his officers’ wages, insisting the money docked covered their food.

Via a statement by military police spokesman Kheng Tito, the deputy chief of the Security Information Department, Hong Vynal, hit back at claims on Facebook that he was taking between $30 and $32.50 from his staff members each month.

“The docked money is for food, not salary,” reads the statement, delivered on Friday, which added that the accuser didn’t understand management procedures.

According to the military police, the daily food fee of $1.05 covers communal meals for officers residing at the barracks, whether for disciplinary reasons, education or training, or for preparing operations.

However Kao Poeun, president of Independent Civil Servant Association, said deducting money for food – or anything – without an agreement from the individual was a violation of workers’ rights.

“They already get little money, and if it is skimmed, it seems even more difficult for them,” Poeun said, adding that employers could dock pay if an agreement was in place.

An official working in Vynal’s unit, who posted to Facebook anonymously, said the $30 taken out of his “meagre” salary was making it difficult for his family to survive.

“My wage is $103 as a sergeant. If it is deducted $30 for rice, how do my wife and children eat?”

Military Police spokesman Kheng Tito could not be reached to answer further questions.

In his statement, Tito said unit commanders had been banned from docking wages of their own units, even for humanitarian purposes or to purchase additional equipment.

Any who did would be punished under RCAF regulations, the statement added.

Earlier this month, the Military Police denied commanders in Kampong Chhnang and Banteay Meanchey were docking salaries of their subordinates to purchase hats, shoes and belts, which should be paid for by the government.

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