Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - RCAF university head in graft scandal

RCAF university head in graft scandal

Defence Minister Tea Banh announces Oung Sean’s replacement as director of the National Defence University on March 12. Sean was removed following an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Unit. fresh news
Defence Minister Tea Banh announces Oung Sean’s replacement as director of the National Defence University on March 12. Sean was removed following an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Unit. fresh news

RCAF university head in graft scandal

A newly published document suggests the recently transferred head of Cambodia’s National Defence University was embroiled in a scandal of nepotism and corruption at the time of his dismissal in March.

Oung Sean was removed from his post on March 2 following an investigation by the Anti-Corruption Unit. An ACU document dated February 1 and published by local media on Monday outlines a litany of irregularities. It was not clear how the outlets obtained the document, which the ACU has not publicly released.

Signed by ACU head Om Yentieng, the document accuses Sean of hiring 70 of his relatives, who received a monthly salary though none of them actually worked.

The document also alleged that Sean sold 12 department director positions for $3,000 to $4,000 and five deputy director positions for $4,000 to $5,000. The university is responsible for training military officials.

Sean also reportedly ordered subordinates to gather bribe money from promoted soldiers, charging $200 to $400 to lieutenants and $500 to $1,000 for majors.

In regards to the accusations against Sean, Chum Socheat, spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, said: “I do not know about it.”

Socheat confirmed that Sean was transferred within the ministry to an administrative role with the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. Socheat said Sean’s replacement, Chea Dara, “had a lot of experience in the battlefield so he can lead better than his excellency Oung Sean”.

“Transferring is part of the reform of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces,” he said. “Whenever someone does not develop, we change to a new one.”

Defence Minister Tea Banh declined to comment while Yentieng could not be reached.

San Chey, country director for the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said he appreciated the action taken by the ACU but said there are more cases that the ACU will “have to investigate”.

Chey said Sean should be “punished” for his crimes, and hoped that his reassignment was only temporary “while he waits for final decision by ACU”.

However, a Post investigation previously found that government officials are rarely ever fired, but rather shuffled around in a series of transfers and reassignments. Sean could not be reached for comment.

Additional reporting by Andrew Nachemson

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the