Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Controversial prison chief gets promotion



Controversial prison chief gets promotion

General Director of General Department of Prisons at the Interior Ministry Chan Kimseng, left, appoints Ouk Kimlum, right, as Ratanakkiri's new prison director. Fresh News
General Director of General Department of Prisons at the Interior Ministry Chan Kimseng, left, appoints Ouk Kimlum, right, as Ratanakkiri's new prison director. Fresh News

Controversial prison chief gets promotion

The chief of the Ratanakkiri Provincial Prison, who was accused in 2015 of paying an inmate for sex and under whose watch five inmates escaped the prison in May, was promoted yesterday to a position at the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prisons.

Chan Kimseng, director of the Ministry of Interior’s General Department of Prisons, announced Tin Sovanny’s new role as deputy director of prison guards during a meeting at the Ratanakkiri Provincial Hall.

Ouk Kemchun, director of the education department at the Ratanakkiri Provincial Prison, was promoted to replace Sovanny, said Sorn Keo, spokesman for the Prisons Department.

Keo maintained the move was unrelated to the scandal. “We made the replacement with the intention of strengthening the effectiveness of the work, and exchanging experience,” he said.

On May 25, five inmates escaped from the prison, three of whom remain at large. Kyal Pa Ngarng, the chief of guards at the prison, was arrested late last month, and charged with helping the five inmates escape.

Ngarng is detained in Stung Treng Provincial Prison awaiting trial, and faces up to 10 years in jail.

In December 2015, a four-page complaint was signed by 32 of Sovanny’s staffers at the Ratanakkiri prison calling for his removal.

The accusations against Sovanny in the complaint ranged from using the prison for his own benefit by charging prisoners for electricity, using inmates as cleaners and even paying a female inmate for sex.

An investigation by the Prisons Department concluded that some of the complaints were justified, but there was not enough evidence to support others, and Sovanny kept his job.

San Chey, executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said it was time for the government to stop rewarding officials accused of wrongdoing with promotions.

“The promotion is not much appreciated and valued by the public,” he said.

“It’s a kind of failure [in] reform . . . He doesn’t deserve a promotion.”

Meanwhile, Sovan Bunthai, a coordinator for Adhoc in Ratanakkiri, said the transfer opens an opportunity for the new prison director to bring change.

“I hope that the next one will not follow the [same] path,” he said. Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • ‘Beware of WhatsApp fraudsters’

    The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications warned members of the public who use WhatsApp to vigilantly guard against a new trick employed by hackers that involves the use of six-digit codes sent to potential victims via the popular messaging app. The ministry said hackers could