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

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • Bill covering dress code draws ire

    Ministry of Interior secretary of state Ouk Kim Lek responded on Tuesday to criticism concerning a draft law that would ban women from wearing overly revealing clothing, saying that input from all parties will be considered as the law moves through the promulgation process. Several

  • Passing the test: Is Cambodia’s education system failing its people?

    The Kingdom’s education system needs to grow its people but some flaws might stifle​ this growth Coming from the Khmer Rouge occupation, with the loss of many scholars and academicians and a collapsed government, the education system had to be reconstructed from scratch – one

  • What’s the deal with Cambodia and China’s FTA?

    Cambodia’s Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China kicks off a series of FTAs in future but for now, critics wonder what else the parties could bring to the table apart from what it already has to date By the end of this year, Cambodia