Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Leadership shake-up at GDP post-jailbreak

Leadership shake-up at GDP post-jailbreak

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Interior minister Sar Kheng speaks with members of the Samdech Techo Foundation Association earlier this month. INTERIOR MINISTRY

Leadership shake-up at GDP post-jailbreak

Five officials from the Stung Treng Provincial Prison, including its chief and two deputies, have been transferred to new positions within the General Department of Prisons (GDP) following an incident in which seven inmates involving in drug trafficking committed a jailbreak. Replacements are expected to be announced on February 17.

According to a prakas issued on February 8 and seen by The Post on February 16, Minister of interior Sar Kheng ordered the transfer of provincial prison chief Chhun Dara and his deputies Ros Sothea and Chea Socheat.

The two other officials are Pen Sam Oun, bureau chief for vocational training and career, and Leang Sam Oeun, section chief of data and documentation.

The prakas made no mention of the reason for the transfers, but said they came at the GDP’s request.

On November 8, seven male inmates escaped from the prison in Bachong village of Stung Treng town’s Preah Bat commune at about 3am. They had been sentenced to many years in prison – including their ringleader who was serving a life sentence. The seven were all recaptured.

Following the escape, Sar Kheng set up a committee to investigate how it had been allowed to happen.

GDP spokesman Nouth Savana could not be reached for comment on February 16, but said in November that the GDP had launched an investigation into the jailbreak.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The seven prisoners who escaped from the Stung Treng Provincial Prison. POLICE

An official within the GDP told The Post on the condition of anonymity that the transfer was linked to the jailbreak.

“The transfers are not happening at the scheduled end of their appointments to those roles, but are linked to the fact that the jailbreak took place on their watch,” he said.

To ensure minimal disruption to the functioning of the prison, the GDP plans to announce their replacements on February 17 at a ceremony to be presided over by ministry secretary of state Pao Ham Phan, according to an invitation letter issued on February 11.

Two replacements are prison officials Prach Sophy, who will be appointed as prison chief, and Rithy Dina, who will become the new deputy.


  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and

  • Thai boxers to join SEA Games’ Kun Khmer event

    The Cambodian SEA Games Organising Committee (CAMSOC) – together with the Kun Khmer International Federation (KKIF) and Khmer Boxing Federation – have achieved a “great success” by including Kun Khmer in the upcoming biennial multi-sports event on its home soil for the first time, said a senior

  • Bullets to bracelets: Siem Reap man makes waste from war wearable

    Jewellery is often made from valuable gemstones like emeralds or diamonds and precious metals like gold or silver, or valueless things like animal horns. But a man in Siem Reap has approached the manufacture of delicate pieces from a different angle. His unique form of

  • 61% of 2022 imports came from just 3 markets

    The three largest exporters to Cambodia – mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for 60.94 per cent of the Kingdom’s total merchandise imports last year, at $18.245 billion, which was up 11.99 per cent over 2021, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise. Cambodia’s total imports

  • CPP sets out five primary strategic goals for 2023-28

    The Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) on January 29 concluded its two-day extraordinary congress, setting the party’s priority goals for 2023-2028. The ruling party’s congress was attended by more than 3,000 members from across the Kingdom, including the members of the permanent and central committees,