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Education union claims official graft

Education union claims official graft

The Cambodian Independent Teachers’ Association yesterday accused Takeo provincial education department officers of embezzling about $30,000 of state funds.

In a letter submitted to the minister of education, youth and sport, CITA claims that for the past four or five years, the unnamed Takeo officials have budgeted salaries for positions that no longer exist.

Provincial officials have shared the money, according to a teacher and whistleblowing member of the department who spoke on condition of anonymity and filed the initial complaint to CITA.

“The [management] worked with their subordinates to embezzle some 24 million riel ($6,000) per person with losses to the state because of corruption totalling some 120 million riel ($30,000),” the letter reads.

CITA president Rong Chhung called on the government to take action. But the deputy director of the department’s personnel office, Mech Sambath, dismissed the charges.

“We do the staff salary list properly, with all the roles, before sending it to the ministry, and if there is a technical error, the ministry will not keep quiet,” he said.

Siv Sokhorn, director of the Takeo education department, said Chhun ‘‘is always complaining and charging people everywhere without evidence’’.

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