Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Mondulkiri governor repudiates brutality, graft complaint



Mondulkiri governor repudiates brutality, graft complaint

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
A joint operation cracks down on forest crimes on July 22. Facebook

Mondulkiri governor repudiates brutality, graft complaint

Keo Seima district authorities are searching for people associated with timber trader Chheang Taistrin, a resident of the district who compiled 230 thumbprints to file a complaint to the Mondulkiri Provincial Court requesting the removal of district deputy governor Hoeun Sokna for allegedly attempting to murder citizens illegally moving timber.

Sokna said the search is focused on Sre Khtum commune’s Lapake village.

He said the complaint was filed because of a joint operation he led to crack down on forest crimes on July 22. Authorities seized a car which was being used to transport three pieces of timber and 34 planks from Taistrin’s house.

Sokna said Taistrin fabricated a story to collect thumbprints from 230 people who weren’t informed about the situation.

He said: “I assigned the district and commune administrations to ask people who registered thumbprints why they wanted to remove me [from office].

“They answered that they registered the thumbprints to ask for a social security card to help Chheang Taistrin’s family. Her child is being treated at a hospital and she lacks money,” he said.

Sokna told The Post that Taistrin didn’t tell residents why she needed their thumbprints.

“People answered that they didn’t think she took their thumbprints for such a thing [requesting removal of Sokna] because she got them to register the thumbprints but she didn’t tell them about the reason.

“I still don’t know how the court will take action because the top level has measures to search for people relevant to the thumbprints,” the deputy governor said.

Sre Khtum commune chief Pheng Savuon said several people who had provided thumbprints and were interviewed told police they submitted their thumbprints because Taistrin needed a social security card to help care for her son in the hospital.

Receiving a social security card would ensure that Taistrin would be able to afford medical treatment for her son.

“Chheang Taistrin took a piece of paper to get people [to provide their] thumbprint. The paper was blank and she just handed it to them for thumbprints.

“Even though people asked questions, Taistrin didn’t tell them the truth. She said the thumbprints serve to help her child in the hospital,” he said.

Taistrin, 56, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The complaint dated August 1 said: “I and 230 people in Keo Seima district are saddened and dissatisfied and would like to file a complaint against Hoeun Sokna, male, Keo Seima district deputy governor in Mondulkiri province.

“The deputy governor has attempted to mistreat residents in the district. He has the intent to use violence against them.”

The complaint further alleged that Sokna claimed he knew well-connected people, pointed his gun at residents and threatened to kill innocent people.

It said he chased residents in his car and attempted to kill those who transported small pieces of timber to make profits for their families.

The complaint said Taistrin and people in the district would like to request officials at all levels to remove Sokna from his position, referring to him as a “brutal, immoral and violent official”.

It said Sokna only enforced the law against people transporting small pieces of timber but overlooked larger-scale timber traders who use trucks to transport timber because he accepts bribes from them.

Provincial court spokesman Meas Bros said he received the complaint from Taistrin on Monday. He is reviewing the complaint before he signs it and forwards it to a provincial court prosecutor for legal proceedings.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Kingdom one of safest to visit in Covid-19 era’

    The Ministry of Tourism on January 12 proclaimed Cambodia as one of the safest countries to visit in light of the Kingdom having been ranked number one in the world by the Senegalese Economic Prospective Bureau for its success in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. In rankings

  • Ministry mulls ASEAN+3 travel bubble

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to launch a travel bubble allowing transit between Cambodia and 12 other regional countries in a bid to resuscitate the tourism sector amid crushing impact of the ongoing spread of Covid-19, Ministry of Tourism spokesman Top Sopheak told The Post on

  • Kingdom accepts Chinese vaccine, PM first to get jab

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said China would offer Cambodia an immediate donation of one million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine produced by the Sinopharm company. In an audio message addressing the public on the night of January 15, he said Cambodia has accepted the offer and

  • Reeling in Cambodia’s real estate sector

    A new norm sets the scene but risks continue to play out in the background A cold wind sweeps through the streets of Boeung Trabek on an early January morning as buyers and traders engage in commerce under bright blue skies. From a distance, the

  • Quarantine site in north Phnom Penh inaugurated

    A four-building quarantine centre in Phnom Penh’s Prek Pnov district was formally inaugurated on January 6. The centre can house up to 500 people, according to Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng. At the inauguration ceremony, Sreng said the municipal hall had cooperated with the Ministry

  • ‘Beware of WhatsApp fraudsters’

    The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications warned members of the public who use WhatsApp to vigilantly guard against a new trick employed by hackers that involves the use of six-digit codes sent to potential victims via the popular messaging app. The ministry said hackers could