Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ACU probe ends but no arrests, says PM

ACU probe ends but no arrests, says PM

ACU probe ends but no arrests, says PM

The government’s Anticorruption Unit has completed an investigation of officials at the Ministry of Social Affairs accused of stealing money from the pensions of retired civil servants, Prime Minister Hun Sen said yesterday.

Speaking to hundreds of government officials yesterday in Phnom Penh, the premier said the probe had uncovered corruption on the part of a number of people, but that no arrests will be made at this time.

“From the investigation, [the ACU] now knows everything about the graft, but has not taken any measures for arrests,” Hun Sen said. “If you want to try it again, you’ll be in trouble.”

The premier added that he had personally ordered the investigation in March, and that it had uncovered Ministry of Social Affairs staff pocketing the pensions of former government officials who are now deceased as well as living retirees who had become frustrated with the ministry and had stopped trying to collect their pensions.

“The bureaucracy and ignorance of the officials at the Ministry of Social Affairs dissuaded the retirees from coming back again and again,” Hun Sen said.

ACU spokesman Keo Remy declined to comment on the investigation announced by the prime minister, though he said ACU head Om Yentieng may had a press conference on the issue soon. Om Yentieng could not be reached for comment.

Social Affairs Ministry spokesman Lim El Djurado said there are roughly 90,000 retired soldiers on civil servants on the government payroll, and that the ministry is attempting to reform the pension system so that payments will be processed through local banks.

“In order to clean up illegal activity by some officials, we are now in the process of reforming our banking system, and we expect this process to be completed by the end of 2012,” he said.

Rong Chhun, president of the Cambodian Independent Teachers Association, called on the government to follow through on the prime minister’s warning with prosecutions of the officials involved.

“I think Prime Minister Hun Sen has to show real political will to make arrests of those suspected of graft and punish them in accordance with the law,” Rong Chhun said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Negotiations on EBA being held

    In an effort to defuse tensions, a senior government official said Cambodia is negotiating with the European Union (EU) on the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade deal, which allows the Kingdom to export goods to the 28-member bloc tariff-free. The EU notified Cambodia on October 5

  • Ministers to tackle sea pollutants

    Preah Sihanouk provincial authorities and members of local communities have collected 77 tonnes of water hyacinth at a Sihanoukville beach, Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesperson Or Saroeun said. He told The Post yesterday that the aquatic weeds had been floating along some of the province’s

  • Chinese police escort deported scam suspects

    Ninety-one Chinese nationals accused of extorting money from victims in a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) scam were deported from Phnom Penh International Airport on Monday under the escort of 182 Chinese police personnel. General Department of Immigration head of investigations Ouk Hay Seila told reporters

  • Sam Rainsy, government group set to clash at IPU Geneva meet?

    Opposition figure Sam Rainsy has been invited to speak at the General Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) in Geneva, according to a former Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) lawmaker. A government delegation is also set to attend the meeting, a National Assembly press release