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Ministry mum on CNM ‘graft’

A motorist travels past the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control on Wednesday afternoon in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district.
A motorist travels past the National Centre for Parasitology, Entomology and Malaria Control on Wednesday afternoon in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district. Pha Lina

Ministry mum on CNM ‘graft’

Health Ministry officials remained tight-lipped yesterday as to whether they would pursue an investigation into allegations of widespread nepotism and corruption at the National Malaria Centre, as anti-corruption group Transparency International Cambodia yesterday called for urgent “concrete reform” at the centre.

The irregularities, revealed in an investigation by the Post, involve senior officials at the centre securing contractor jobs for family and friends, who in turn systematically pilfer money from donor grants’ substantial travel budgets, documents and insider interviews show.

TI in a statement yesterday called for an investigation and reforms at the centre. Referring to a 2013 scandal at the centre in which its director and another official were found to have taken more than $400,000 in bribes, TI said that “this issue has been brought up again and again, yet it seems to remain unsettled”.

Health Ministry spokesman Ly Sovann, however, declined to comment yesterday on the possibility of an investigation, as did Health Minister Mam Bunheng, who directed questions to another spokesperson, Or Vandin, who could not be reached.

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