Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Three nabbed over $100K payment

Three nabbed over $100K payment

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

Three nabbed over $100K payment

Three officials from the Pursat provincial Cadastral Survey Department are being questioned by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) after they were arrested on Sunday on suspicion of conspiring to commit corruption by demanding $100,000 from a landowner in exchange for issuing a construction permit.

ACU chief Om Yentieng could not be reached for comment, but speaking to the Thmey Thmey daily on Sunday, he said: “The case involves a demand for $100,000 and questioning is ongoing.

“They demanded money from a citizen in exchange for resolving a land issue and providing a construction permit. We arrested so we could question them and check the evidence.”

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

The report said the suspects were arrested at Moha Leap restaurant in Pursat town on Sunday after they had made an appointment to meet the landowner and be handed the money.

“The source suggested that one of the cadastral officials demanded 50 per cent of the $100,000 as a deposit before issuing a construction permit.

“On Friday, the land owner paid a deposit of $5,000 at a room at the provincial Cadastral Survey Department and on Sunday morning gave them $45,000 more at Moha Leap restaurant where the ACU arrested the officials,” Fresh News said.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan supported the ACU’s actions and also those of the Committee for Prevention and Crackdown on Natural Resource Crimes which he said have been actively clamping down on any irregularities that damage the government’s reputation.

“We encourage the public to cooperate with the ACU and the Committee for Prevention and Crackdown on Natural Resource Crimes.

“We all work together for the happiness and prosperity of the nation through cooperation and comprehensive implementation of Samdech Techo Prime Minister’s policies,” Siphan said.

Pursat provincial governor Mao Thonin said briefly on Sunday: “I have heard about the arrests but I don’t have any new details. If you want to have clear information, please ask those who made the arrests.”

San Chey, the executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, said that although this case involves $100,000, any money demanded that is more than official administrative service fees should also be considered as corruption.

“I think the procedure is complicated with regard to applying for construction permits, even for people asking for permission to build a small house or apartment.

“The law sets the service fees but the procedure is still complicated and some people don’t know which level of authority to go to or where to obtain an application form.

“The formalities are also difficult, so it’s an opportunity for officers to demand money,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Omicron patients can stay home: PM

    The Ministry of Health has issued a directive on the treatment of people who have tested positive for the highly transmissible Omicron coronavirus variant, following a suggestion from Prime Minister Hun Sen on the night of January 21. The directive permits home quarantine for those who

  • The effects of the USD interest rate hike on Cambodian economy

    Experts weigh in on the effect of a potential interest rate expansion by the US Federal Reserve on a highly dollarised Cambodia Anticipation of the US Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike in March is putting developing economies on edge, a recent blog post by

  • Cambodia’s first ever anime festival kicks off Jan 22 at capital’s F3 centre

    Phnom Penh's first ever Anime Festival will bring together fans, artists, shops and other local businesses with ties to the Japanese animation style for cosplay competitions, online games, pop-up shops and more on January 22, with Friends Futures Factory (F3) hosting. F3 is a project that

  • Hun Sen gets 4th Covid shot, urges compatriots to follow

    Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany on January 14 received their fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccine and called on compatriots to follow suit as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in the community. This marks the launch of Cambodia's fourth-dose vaccination campaign,

  • Fourth dose Covid booster drive jabs 43K in two days

    In the first two days of the fourth-dose Covid-19 vaccination campaign, more than 43,000 people volunteered to get the jabs, while over 4.6 million people have received a third shot. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine said that fourth-dose vaccinations, which began on January 14 exclusively with the Pfizer

  • Singapore backs Cambodia's efforts on Myanmar

    Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong supports Cambodia in its efforts to seek a solution to the ongoing Myanmar crisis as the chair of ASEAN. Lee expressed his support during a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on January 14, with the talks focused