Separate complaints have been lodged to the Ratanakkiri provincial governor against Kon Mom district governor Sek Hay and his deputy Hin Vin. Both complaints demand the district leaders be removed from their positions.
Vin was accused by 62 people of extorting money and using insulting and threatening language.
Hay’s complaint, made by nine local officials, alleges the use of profanity and insults, and threats to have them removed from work.
Khouth Bun Thoeun, a representative of the 62 people in Serei Mongkol commune, said on Thursday that they had filed two complaints to provincial governor Thong Savon and Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) lawmaker Bou Lam against Vin.
He said that for nearly five years, Vin had threatened and sworn at them and extorted large sums of money when they were merely using chainsaws and other machinery to fell trees and clear land on their plantation.
“We haven’t cleared any state land or community forest . . . we just cleared land on our plantation. We have ownership documents, but Hin Vin always harasses people, and if they refuse to give him money, he confiscates machinery and other items,” Bun Thoeun claimed.
Serei Mongkol commune chief Nou Ming confirmed that the 62 people had complained about Vin and requested he is removed from his position as deputy governor.
“Those people have ownership documents for their land, which they farm every year, but every Saturday and Sunday, Hun Vin, along with two accomplices, came to collect money from them.
“I don’t know how to help them because [Vin and his accomplices] have a higher rank than me. I know about the complaint demanding that Hin Vin be removed, but I don’t know how the upper-level authorities will solve it,” he said.
The complaint letter, obtained by The Post on Thursday, alleged that Vin had for a long-time committed many irregularities, such as extorting 300,000 to 500,000 riel ($75 to $125) from people cutting firewood with chainsaws or using tractors to plough land.
“Besides, he demanded $1,200 from someone using a bulldozer and impounded an excavator and demanded $700.
“When people asked why he was demanding money, he told us that he was collecting it to help his [political] party,” the letter read.
However, Vin denied the accusation and insisted the complainants provide evidence. He said they were distorting the facts by accusing “such a good person as me”.
“Now I’m waiting for the upper-level authorities to call me. I will appear to answer the accusations, and I want legal action to be taken against anyone behind the complaints against me,” he said.
Meanwhile, nine officials filed a complaint against Hay to Savon and Lam alleging that “several times he used profanity and insults, and threatened to remove us from work”.
District Land Management Department chief Thor Bunthet said Hay looked down on many officials. He claimed that Hay had pointed his finger at him (Bunthet), dismissed him from a meeting, and threatened to fire him from work and have him imprisoned.
Additionally, Bunthet said, Hay behaved inappropriately towards other officials, especially the district police.
“He doesn’t have the moral character or virtue to be a [district] leader. He only thinks about what benefits him and his group.
“We asked the higher authorities to remove him because we don’t like working with him,” he said.
Kon Mom district police chief Pouk Borith claimed he had also been a victim of the district governor and could not continue working with him.
“I don’t know where he learned such leadership from. He always acts inappropriately. We’re policemen who work under him and always follow his orders. We never refuse and we respect him, but he is never satisfied,” he said.
The officials’ letter said: “Please lawmaker Bou Lam and governor Thong Savon, speed up the process of finding a solution to render justice for us as soon as possible.”
Hay could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Lam said he had obtained the letters and forwarded them to Savon about two weeks ago to find a solution. “It’s not my job to solve it,” he said.
Savon declined to comment on Thursday. “Disputes between officials do not concern you as a journalist,” Savon claimed.