More Than 50 AWOL Police Officers Dismissed

More than 50 police officers accused of abandoning their jobs were dismissed across the country this month, though their salaries and benefits will not be cut until August, according to a directive signed by Interior Minister Sar Kheng.

The directive, dated June 15, says 54 officers from various departments in Phnom Penh and 12 different provinces were removed from their positions for abandoning their jobs.

It does not expand on the reason for termination, or explain why wages would continue until August.

Neither the Interior Ministry nor National Police spokesmen could be reached for comment on Tuesday.

Iv Kimsean, deputy provincial police chief in Pailin province, said he had learned of the dismissals from the media, adding that most of the terminated officers in his department were stationed at the border.

The Anti-Corruption Unit has in the past investigated allegations of officials pocketing the salaries of “ghost officers” whose names have been fraudulently added to the payroll.

It is not known whether any of the recent dismissals are related to those investigations.

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