Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ACU investigating Global Fund claims

ACU investigating Global Fund claims

ACU investigating Global Fund claims

The Anti-Corruption Unit is investigating graft in the Ministry of Health after a Global Fund probe uncovered rampant bribe-taking in mosquito net and other procurements, a top official said yesterday.

Chhay Savuth, vice-chairman at the ACU, said officials at both the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control (CNM) and the National Centre for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STD control (NCHADS) “are being investigated”.

“We have read the Global Fund report, and we are studying it and conducting an investigation into what is alleged in the report,” he said.

The Global Fund investigation found that former CNM director Duong Socheat and his deputy received more than $410,000 in direct “commissions” from two of the world’s largest mosquito net manufacturers, compromising Global Fund contracts worth more than $11 million between 2006 and 2011.

An unidentified “Senior Procurement Officer” at NCHADS also obtained improper commissions from suppliers, compromising more than $317,000 in procurements between 2009 and 2012, the report says.

“So far, I can’t say if we have found whether [officials at CNM and NCHADS] were corrupt, because the investigation is still ongoing, and I dare not say anything until our investigation is completed,” Savuth said. “This investigation is like when you are fishing. You can’t say whether you will catch something until you’re done.”

Savuth added that the ACU had monitored procurements handled by CNM and NCHADS, but could not say when such monitoring began.

“Every time they are doing procurement processes, we are invited. Both NCHADS and CNM’s procurement processes are good and transparent.”

In a statement released on Friday, the ACU thanked the National Aids Authority – an independent body not implicated in the Global Fund report – for inviting the ACU to monitor its public procurements, which it said were done “correctly”.

The statement did not mention the Global Fund, NCHADS or the CNM, but pledged the ACU’s commitment to monitoring public procurements.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said