Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - PM: Corrupt officials behind unauthorised construction work

PM: Corrupt officials behind unauthorised construction work

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Pursat province land management director and his two deputies have been arrested for corruption. Supplied

PM: Corrupt officials behind unauthorised construction work

Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday that unauthorised construction may be the result of corrupt officials accepting bribes from developers, and urged the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) to take immediate action in such cases.

Hun Sen was speaking as he attended an inspection of the under-construction Morodok Techo National Stadium on Monday, where he also met with sports officials, athletes and garment workers.

On Sunday, the ACU detained and questioned three officials from Pursat province after they were caught demanding $100,000 from a landowner in exchange for issuing a construction permit.

Fresh News reported on Sunday that the three men are high ranking officials from the provincial Cadastral Survey Department.

Speaking about the case, Hun Sen said it proved that much of the Kingdom’s unauthorised construction was the result of corrupt officials.

“It is a lesson learned in Pursat province. They asked for permission [to construct a building], but the officials demanded money from them. These cases create lawlessness.

“The accounts of the arrest of the three officials from Pursat province are true. When the officials were asked for permission to construct a factory, they demanded money.

“The ACU posed as members of the company. At first, they demanded $50,000, but then the cost doubled to $100,000. And then they demanded $50,000 as a deposit,” the prime minister said.

ACU chief Om Yentieng was unavailable for comment on the case on Monday.

Provincial police chief Saron Chanthy on Monday confirmed the men’s arrest: “The ACU is itself holding the three men. They have already been questioned and sent to Phnom Penh for further procedures.”

San Chey, the executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said the ACU should investigate areas undergoing a construction boom, like Preah Sihanouk province and Bavet and Poipet cities.

“We encourage people to file complaints with the ACU [about corruption]. Without complaints, the institution will find it difficult to execute its work.

“We want an investigation to be launched in rapidly developing areas because this is where the problems are occurring,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Cambodia's Bokator now officially in World Heritage List

    UNESCO has officially inscribed Cambodia’s “Kun Lbokator”, commonly known as Bokator, on the World Heritage List, according to Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona in her brief report to Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of November 29. Her report, which was

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Sub-Decree approves $30M for mine clearance

    The Cambodian government established the ‘Mine-Free Cambodia 2025 Foundation’, and released an initial budget of $30 million. Based on the progress of the foundation in 2023, 2024 and 2025, more funds will be added from the national budget and other sources. In a sub-decree signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen

  • Two senior GDP officials defect to CPP

    Two senior officials of the Grassroots Democratic Party (GDP) have asked to join the Cambodian People’s Party (CPP), after apparently failing to forge a political alliance in the run-up to the 2023 general election. Yang Saing Koma, chairman of the GDP board, and Lek Sothear,

  • Cambodia's poverty cut in half from 2009 to 2019: World Bank report

    A report published by the World Bank on November 28 states that Cambodia’s national poverty rate fell by almost half between 2009 and 2019, but the Covid-19 pandemic recently reversed some of the poverty reduction progress. Cambodia’s poverty rate dropped from 33.8 to 17.8 per cent over the 10