Kampong Chhnang provincial police chief Khov Ly on Monday denied a report from online media accusing police, military police and army officers of accepting thousands of dollars in bribes in return for not cracking down on a prominent cockfighting ring in Samaki Meanchey district.
The report by Phnom Penh Times was published on Sunday and accused officials from the village and provincial levels of accepting bribes ranging from $100 to $3,000 from the cock ring owner. The main sources in the report were visitors and gamblers at the ring.
After seeing the report, Ly said it was “insulting” and demanded the management of Phnom Penh Times to correct it immediately.
Ly said on Monday that officials have never accepted bribes from the ring owner and never allowed them to operate the ring as alleged.
He said he has always pushed his officials to implement the law and maintain social order and security. He also warned that police officers would face the law themselves if caught accepting bribes.
“I dare to claim that there is no cockfighting in the province. I never get money from such a crime or gambling.
“I demand the manager of the media outlet make a correction and written clarification, or we will take action in accordance with the Press Law,” he said, adding that the report amounted to defamation.
Eng Kim Leang, the author of the report, said his outlet has already apologised to the relevant units for the mistake and published a letter from the provincial police.
“We got the report and photos from the people who gambled there, but I cannot identify them,” he said, adding that police cracked down on the cockfighting ring many months ago, but it later resumed.
He said relatives of gamblers had provided the tip-off to his media outlet which ran the story.