Kandal Deputy Police Chief Warned Over Interference in Land Sale

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Interior Minister Sar Kheng speaks in Prey Veng province on July 13, 2019, in a photo posted to Kheng’s Facebook page.
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Interior Minister Sar Kheng has issued a warning against a Kandal province deputy police chief over an accusation that the deputy abused his power to interfere in a local land sale.

The latest accusation comes after another Kandal police deputy, Sreng Sokha, was suspended in April after being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Unit, and former police chief Eav Chamroeun was removed over a slew of corruption claims, including taking bribes from cockfighting rings.

Kheng said in his warning letter, issued earlier this month, that Ol Bonna, a one-star general, “must change and correct mistakes,” and action would be taken against him if he did not.

Bunna had been “placed under the discipline of a first warning,” it said.

According to the letter, Touch Sok Lim, 47, filed a complaint to Kandal Provincial Police in July last year that Bonna had abused his power as head of the province’s tourism police and used the names of unspecified leaders to interfere in a land purchase.

The complaint says Sok Lim paid three families for a plot of land, but Bonna prevented them from filling out necessary forms to complete the purchase by “using the name of the leader to cause everyone fear.”

Bunna could not be reached for comment.

Provincial police chief Chhoeun Sochet declined to elaborate on the incident or say how many complaints he had received against his officers. “This is my internal work,” he said.

Interior Ministry secretariat spokesperson Em Vichet also would not elaborate. “He has indeed committed a mistake, so that’s why [we] gave him a warning. If it was serious, he would have been fired,” Vichet said.

The former Kandal police chief, Chamroeun, was accused of siphoning election funds, keeping cars confiscated from criminals and taking bribes from cockfighting rings.

The other deputy, Sokha, flaunted gifts of $100,000, a diamond ring and a $220,000 Lexus to his fiancee at an engagement party, according to the Anti-Corruption Unit, which nevertheless said it had not found any evidence of corruption behind Sokha’s apparent wealth.

Additional reporting by Han Noy

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