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Kandal police chief accused of graft

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Kandal provincial police chief Eav Chamroeun (left) has been accused of soliciting bribes of between $2,000 and $3,000 for appointment andpromotion of police officers in the province. Photo supplied

Kandal police chief accused of graft

More than 50 Kandal provincial police officers have jointly thumb-printed a complaint accusing the provincial police chief of corruption and nepotism.

The complaint, filed on April 19 and has since been widely shared on social media, alleged that Eav Chamroeun had solicited bribes of between $2,000 and $3,000 for appointment and promotion of police officers in the province.

The complainants also accused Chamroeun of taking bribes from operators of unauthorised gambling, cock-fighting and lottery venues, selling state land for personal gains, embezzling between $800 and 3,000 a month from each police unit and assigning family members to lucrative posts at the Chrey Thom and Khna Taingyou border checkpoints.

“We oppose the use of authoritarian power to mistreat subordinates and commit corruption,” said the complaint.

The officers called on Minister of Interior Sar Kheng to relieve Chamroeun of his position.

In a separate complaint dated April 22 and filed by Prek Ambel commune council to the Ministry of Interior, Chamroeun was also accused of wrongfully demoting the commune police chief and his deputy following a raid on a cock-fighting venue on April 14.

Chamroeun had accused the two of unspecified irregularities in the raid and of their involvement in the unlicensed betting business.

“The allegation that the commune police chief and his deputy backed or ran the cock-fighting venue is groundless. We ask Samdech Kralahom [Sar Kheng] to please deliver justice to the two officers who have been demoted and suspended by the provincial police chief from their duties,” the complaint said.

The commune council called on Sar Kheng to reinstate the two officers.

The Post could not reach the commune police chiefs and the provincial police officers for comment on Monday.

Chamroeun rejected the accusations on Monday, saying the allegation was meant to discredit him. He said those who had thumb-printed the complaint were not police officers and that the thumbprints were collected by people outside the police framework.

“I think they may have been angry with me after I suspended the two officials for turning a blind eye to anarchy in their commune,” he said.

Ministry of Interior spokesman Khieu Sopheak told The Post on Monday the minister’s cabinet had not received the complaint, but he said the ministry would launch an investigation into the case.

“Normally, where such a complaint is lodged and clearly verified by the complainants, Samdech Kralahom will not ignore it. He will look into the complaint before taking action,” he said.

Men Bunrith, director of the ministry’s Administration Department, said his department had not received a formal complaint.

“My department has not seen [the complaint]. I checked with the administration office this morning, but they had not received any. If anyone sees it, it will be forwarded to the senior leadership for action,” he said.

Preap Kol, the executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, called for a thorough investigation into the matter.

“The case should be investigated thoroughly and transparently by both the provincial police and the Anti-Corruption Unit to ensure accuracy,” he said.

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