Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has demoted a commune police chief in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district for violating police discipline.
“Remove Colonel Hout Seiha from his position as Samrong Thom commune police chief and demote him to lieutenant colonel,” he said in a January 5 prakas.
Last September, local media reported that the officer had accepted a bribe in exchange for releasing three drug users.
According to reports, on July 30 last year, Seiha arrested three drug suspects in the commune’s Prek Takeo village but then agreed to release them at the request of their parents, in exchange for a $3,500 bribe.
Following the reporting, provincial police chief Chhoeun Socheat assigned an official to investigate, who found that Seiha had implemented “the wrong procedure”. He disciplined Seiha by assigning him to an administrative position with the provincial police, and his case was reported to the National Police for further action.
Am Sam Ath, deputy director of humans right group Licadho, said this should be further investigated as a corruption case. The release of suspects was an example of misconduct and an illegal act according to the law, he added.
“I think that demotion and removal from his post complies with the rules of the National Police, but it should be investigated as a criminal case. If this officer accepted a bribe to release suspects, then he should be charged, as an example for other corrupt officials,” he said.