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

  • US imposes sanctions on Oknha Pheap and Kun Kim

    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed strong dismay on Monday over the designation of Cambodian tycoon Oknha Try Pheap and General Kun Kim under the US’ Global Magnitsky Act. “It is very disturbing when the public figures of a country become the

  • Mother, daughter killed in hotel fire

    The bodies of a mother and daughter were found locked in an embrace after they were killed in a hotel fire in Phnom Penh at around 3:30am on Wednesday at the Phkar Chhouk Tep 2 Hotel and Restaurant in Phsar Doeum Kor commune, in the capital’

  • EBA withdrawal a destruction of EU achievements, PM says

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the EU’s possible suspension of its Everything But Arms (EBA) agreement amounted to a destruction of its achievements in the Kingdom and the demise of the opposition group. Hun Sen made the remarks while addressing more than 6,700 students during

  • Rights Day forum denied in Sihanoukville

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration last Saturday denied the request of land communities for a public location in the province to celebrate International Human Rights Day 2019 as the administration had already held forums to discuss land issues. However, the land community representatives said they would

  • Kingdom calls on Japan to increase number of direct flights to Siem Reap, Phnom Penh

    Cambodia is requesting Japan to increase the number of direct flights from Japanese cities and provinces to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, so as to contribute to increasing cooperation and tourist numbers between the two countries. During the opening ceremony of 3rd Japan Travel Fair

  • Sri Lanka’s LOLC Holdings plans to sell Cambodian unit

    LOLC Holdings Plc, Sri Lanka’s second-largest publicly traded company by revenue, plans to sell its 70 per cent stake in Prasac Microfinance Institution Ltd, which also counts Hong Kong’s Bank of East Asia Ltd. as a shareholder, LOLC deputy chairman Ishara Nanayakkara said. Nanayakkara