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Battambang’s top cop denies he’s bound for capital

Battambang’s top cop denies he’s bound for capital

Battambang police chief Sar Thet has swatted down rumours, appearing in local media yesterday, that he is in line to replace Phnom Penh police chief Choun Sovann, though an official at the Ministry of Interior has said that paperwork laying out the reshuffle is already completed.

When asked about the reports, Thet said, “It is not true and I know nothing about it.”

“I’m not hiding anything,” he added.

Interior Minister Sar Kheng, on the sidelines of a ministry conference yesterday, declined to comment on the matter, simply telling reporters to “ask Sar Thet”.

However, a senior Ministry of Interior official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Post on Tuesday that a decision authorising the move only needed the approval of “one or two persons” and that it was “already handed to [Kheng] to sign”, though he could not say when the transfer would take place.

Sovann, the official said, would likely be transferred to another position within the Interior Ministry, though he was also nearing retirement age.

On Tuesday, Kheng had told reporters that Sovann’s recent promotion to four-star general did not preclude him from holding the office of municipal police chief, and would let him continue in his current position, but not indefinitely.

Sovann, along with five other senior police officials who are all members of the CPP’s central committee, was elevated to the new rank last week.

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