Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Ghost soldiers have ghost kids too

Ghost soldiers have ghost kids too

Ghost soldiers have ghost kids too

THE nearly 13,000 ghost soldiers discovered by the Ministry of Defense so far

appear to have been very family-minded - ministry records have now revealed that

the non-existent soldiers have sired 15,244 ghost children. 

The Royal Cambodia Armed Forces (RCAF) are currently checking to see if all the soldiers

on the payroll actually exist. It has become a common practice for commanders to

inflate their staff numbers and pocket the salary.

A variation on the theme is for commanders also to claim that their ghost soldiers

have a family and claim allowances for them as well.

It is a practice that the Government wants abolished in preparation for the restructuring

of RCAF which is due to start next year.

One of the problems with the restructuring is that there are no accurate figures

on how many real people there are in RCAF - the total on the payroll is 148,000

and the Government estimates as many as 40,000 do not exist.

In an effort to wipe out the problem Prime Minister Hun Sen has said he would be

happy to grant amnesty to corrupt commanders who had inflated their staff figures

if they admitted it and took the soldiers off the books.

"I do not believe the ghost soldiers are one hundred percent finished,"

he said at a May 20 meeting at the Ministry of Defense.

"There are still more ghost soldiers that have not been reported.

"I know there are some high officials including the officials at the Ministry

of Defense that have made deals with their lower commanders to hide the ghost soldiers

in order to put cash in their pockets."

But he had a message for those commanders.

"Don't be afraid of revealing more ghost soldiers," he said.

"You will not be punished. I grant you amnesty. If you still hide [some ghost

soldiers] you will face legal action."

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Education’ a priority traffic-law penalty

    A top National Police official on June 21 neither rejected nor confirmed the authenticity of a leaked audio message, which has gone viral on social media, on a waiver of fines for a number of road traffic-related offences. General Him Yan, deputy National Police chief in

  • Siem Reap’s $18M zoo said to educate public, help wildlife

    Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium Co Ltd has invested $18 million in a zoo in Siem Reap province, which will be opened in October to educate and promote animal conservation as well as attract national and international tourists. Currently, the Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium is building the

  • Volunteer scheme to foster ‘virtuous’ humanitarian spirit

    A senior education official said volunteer work contributes to solidarity and promotes a virtuous humanitarian spirit among the youth and communities. Serei Chumneas, undersecretary of state at the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, made the comment during the opening of a training programme called “

  • Chinese firms unveil preliminary results on metro, monorail for capital

    Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol and representatives from China Road and Bridge Corp (CRBC) and its parent company, the state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), met on June 24 for talks on results of the firms’ preliminary study on a potential metro

  • Nestle’s debut may spur dairy market

    Leading confectionery manufacturer Nestle plans to invest in Cambodia by setting up an operation in the near future, a move majorly hailed by local dairy farmers as a means of boosting the fresh milk market in the Kingdom. During a visit by a delegation led

  • ACLEDA, WU to enable global money transfers

    Cambodia's largest commercial bank by total assets ACLEDA Bank Plc and global money transfer firm Western Union (WU) have partnered to offer customers cross-border money transfers to 200 countries via “ACLEDA mobile” app. In Channy, president and group managing director of ACLEDA, said the June 22 agreement