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Land official nabbed for graft

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Noun Pok was arrested on suspicion of corruption while in office from 2016 to 2018. SUPPLIED

Land official nabbed for graft

The Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) detained Noun Pok, the former director of the Preah Sihanouk provincial Department of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on Sunday, on suspicion of corruption while in office from 2016 to 2018.

Citing a senior ACU official, Swift News reported on Tuesday that ACU’s investigation department director Kem Sopheap led forces to detain Pok.

Neither ACU chief Om Yentieng nor ministry spokesman Seng Lot could be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Preah Sihanouk Provincial Hall spokesman Kheang Phearum said he could not discuss the case because it is under the jurisdiction of the ACU.

Last year, Prime Minister Hun Sen said tough measures were needed to eliminate government corruption. After his announcement, the ACU launched an investigation into numerous government officials.

On February 27, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court sentenced Lim Bunroeurn to eight years in prison after the former director of the Pursat provincial Department of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, was convicted on charges of money laundering, power abuse and misappropriation.

He was jailed along with two other department officials. The three were arrested by the ACU in Pursat province in July last year.

Affiliated Network for Social Accountability executive director San Chey said the construction boom in Preah Sihanouk province may have led to cases of corruption as projects were improperly approved, or allowed to move forward without permits.

“Along with the existing complexity in the cadastral and construction services, the boom may have led to corruption as powerful officials seized a chance to make money. If there is sufficient evidence or complaints are filed by any victim, the authorities must move on the case and I think this is right,” he said.

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