Six retired and contracted police officers have been suspended by Phnom Penh municipal police chief Sar Thet for selling fire extinguishers without a permit.

On November 7, the six – one of them a retiree – from the Phnom Penh municipal police department, went to sell fire extinguishers in Doeum Mean commune, in Kandal province’s Takhmao town.

One resident reported the officers were from the Phnom Penh municipal fire prevention department and came to sell the extinguishers without authorisation.

Thet said on November 10 the officers failed to follow management guidelines but did not violate the Criminal Code.

“We are still questioning them and they will be fined. They have done this not just once, but many times, and this time we received information from people,” he said.

Neth Vantha, director of the National Police’s Department of Fire Prevention, Extinguishing and Rescue, said on November 10 that the six were first held by the Doeum Mean commune police and then sent to the Phnom Penh municipal police for questioning.

“They are not convicted of any criminal offences. They just disobeyed guidance. The municipal police have summoned them for questioning, but I do not know the decision yet,” he said.

Vantha encouraged police officers involved in firefighting to educate people in their localities so that they can participate in preventing future fires, but not to sell fire extinguishers to people.