Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Officer arrested for extortion

Officer arrested for extortion

Officer arrested for extortion

A police officer and personal assistant to a secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior was arrested yesterday morning by the Anti-Corruption Unit for blackmailing and extorting money from a businessman, a penal police official told the Post.

Policeman Sam Sarith, 43, allegedly attempted to extort more than $1,000 from Thun Buntheoun, a businessman involved in a pending land dispute lawsuit.

Sarith began calling the victim and demanding money from him after a lawsuit against the businessman was filed in August regarding a 2008 sale of land that the plaintiff claimed does not exist. The case was transferred to a secretary of state at the Ministry of Interior and the file landed in Sarith’s possession, said Lam Buntha, a penal officer.

“After receiving the documents from his chief, Sarith called the defendant to the office. He extorted money from the victim, promising to help defend him in court,” Buntha said.

The police officer allegedly regularly phoned the victim, demanding $400 in every call. Unable to afford the mounting bribes, the down-on-his-luck businessman finally turned to the Anti-Corruption Unit and sent in an official complaint, Buntha said.

“[Sarith] was arrested this morning when he came to the victim’s office in Phnom Penh to receive the $1,000 he demanded,” Buntha added.

The spokesman for the Interior Ministry and officials at the Anti-Corruption Unit could not be reached for comment yesterday. The accused police officer did not pick up or return phone calls.

MOST VIEWED

  • Proof giants walked among us humans?

    For years a debate has waged about whether certain bas relief carvings at the 12th-century To Prohm Temple, one of the most popular attractions at the Angkor Wat Temple Complex in Siem Reap province, depicted dinosaurs or some rather less exotic and more contemporary animal,

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Long way to go before Cambodia gets a ‘smart city’

    Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Battambang will struggle to attain smart city status without adopting far reaching master plans, according to officials tasked with implementing the program. The brainchild of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the smart city program seeks to link up

  • Japan bank buys major stake in ANZ Royal Bank

    Japan's largest bank acquired more than half of ANZ’s shares in Cambodia on Thursday, according to a statement from Kith Meng’s Royal Group. Japan's JTrust Bank, announced that they had acquired a 55% of stake in ANZ Royal Bank. According to a Royal Group