Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - General fired as the head of Ratanakkiri military police



General fired as the head of Ratanakkiri military police

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Kim Reaksmey has been removed as Ratanakkiri provincial military police commander via a royal decree. Facebook

General fired as the head of Ratanakkiri military police

King Norodom Sihamoni issued a royal decree on Saturday firing Kim Reaksmey, the commander of Ratanakkiri provincial Miltary Police, removing him from the framework of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), where he served as a general.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen is in charge of implementing the royal decree from the day of its signing,” the decree stated.

Government officials have not so far provided a clear explanation for Reaksmey’s removal.

However, the case comes after a video clip was posted on Facebook of Reaksmey purportedly giving $100,000 to each of his five children at his birthday party.

Reaksmey is also alleged to have referred to his excessive wealth in front of people attending the party.

Afterwards, photographs posted on Facebook showed a large house, allegedly belonging to Reaksmey, built from luxury timber. The public questioned the source of his wealth and whether he might have benefited from major forestry crimes in the province.

Prime Minister Hun Sen made a brief comment on Facebook accompanying a copy of the decree: “This is a painful operation. It is surgery according to the fifth principle.”

Government spokesman Phay Siphan on Sunday said the fifth principle is used for removing inactive or corrupt officials without waiting for them to voluntarily correct themselves.

National Military Police spokesman Eng Hy on Sunday said it was the government’s right to dismiss Reaksmey as it can promote or replace anyone without full investigation.

But Hy could not explain the show of wealth which led to public criticism of the Military Police unit or whether it was a reason behind Reaksmey’s dismissal.

“Promoting and replacing is a normal thing and the government has the right. It is unnecessary to find a reason,” Hy said.

The Post could not reach Reaksmey for comment on Sunday, and a who woman answered the phone claiming to be his wife declined to comment.

Two NGOs said they that intended to file a complaint to the Anti-Corruption Unit and the Kratie provincial court calling for an investigation into Reaksmey’s wealth.

Pen Bunna, the senior land and natural resources investigator for rights group Adhoc, and Victory Intelligent Standard Association director Ros Sarom on Sunday said Reaksmey’s wealth had been shown to come from the smuggling of luxury timber to Vietnam.

Bunna claimed that in 2010 a senior government official working to protect natural resources investigated forestry crimes in Ratanakkiri province.

He said the official phoned him to say that in just one month around 500 large trucks loaded with timber travelled to Vietnam – with one truck capable of carrying 100 tonnes.

He said Reaksmey had also been found to have cleared 1,000ha of forest land in Kon Mom district in 2017 for private ownership.

“If we file a complaint, we will have a lawyer and we can check the case. The complaint against Kim Reaksmey will be filed to Ratanakkiri provincial court before February 25 and will include evidence – documents and pictures – showing timber they hauled from Ratanakkiri province to Vietnam,” Bunna said.

Sarom said the dismissal involves the exploitation of national wealth, especially the destruction of forest in Ratanakkiri province and the transport of timber to Vietnam.

“The complaint will be ready to be sent to the Anti-Corruption Unit in the next few days so an investigation can be launched to seek the truth for the people.”

The Post could not reach Anti-Corruption Unit president Om Yentieng for comment on Sunday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a