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Warehouse owners in Phnom Penh file shakedown complaint

Warehouse owners in Phnom Penh file shakedown complaint

Warehouse owners in Phnom Penh have called on the Ministry of Interior to investigate the capital’s economic police, claiming they have been hitting them up for bribes.

Three warehouse owners – Jea Sokhourng, Bun Srey and Jea Sokong – from the Tuol Svay Prey I and II communes, alleged that two separate groups of police inspected their wares on Thursday and, claiming the vendors avoided tax and were selling fake products, asked for a monthly payment to look the other way.

“If the issue is true, we hope the officers will be charged with corruption by the state,” they wrote.

The monthly amount cited in the letter ranged from $100 to $500, though one anonymous source said she had witnessed bribe demands of up to $5,000.

Lim Sokly, an officer with the Phnom Penh economic police, yesterday denied the accusations, before then offering a Post reporter money to not publish this story.

“We just go through their homes and warehouses [to gather statistics] and we have not done anything like what they accused . . . so please don’t publish it,” he said.

“We could give you a small amount of cash monthly or we could give you office materials like books and pens.

“Those people are just not happy when we do our jobs . . . we don’t ask for their money, they just give it to us from the heart.”

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