ACU Says Police Chief Stole Money

The Anti-Corruption Unit revealed that a district police chief and his deputy in Kampot province who were arrested last week made more than $64,000 by embezzling money, taking bribes and stealing from his subordinates.

Srun Lam, Banteay Meas district police chief, and his deputy, Mok Hort, deducted money from subordinates’ salaries, pocketed salaries of staff who no longer worked for the police, extorted money from traffic police and rice traders, and extorted bribes from offenders in exchange for not sending their cases to court, the ACU said in a statement issued Friday.

Over the last six years, Mr. Lam and Mr. Hort extorted and stole a total of $64,360, according to ACU estimates.

“Our investigation’s result proves that Srun Lam and his fellow had received roughly 257,441,235 riel [$64,360],” the statement said.

“[They] accepted bribes from the leaders of gambling rings and from criminal offenders in exchange for not sending their case files to the court,” the ACU said in its statement.

On Sunday, ACU chairman Om Yentieng told reporters that about 80 percent of Banteay Meas’ district police officials had filed a complaint against their police chief and his deputy and helped in providing evidence against them.

“While the case was under progress, he [Mr. Lam] asked for the one who filed the complaint to be identified so he could fire them,” Mr. Yentieng said.

Mr. Lam also tried to invite Mr. Yentieng to dinner while he was being investigated.

“It was a conflict of interest,” Mr. Yentieng said. He recalled telling the police chief:  “I am investigating you. So why do I need to see you somewhere outside the interrogation room? Why do I need to go out for a meal with you?”

Mr. Yentieng said he rejected the dinner invitation.

Last week, the provincial court charged the pair with seven counts of corruption. If found guilty, they could be sentenced to nine years in prison. Mr. Lam and Mr. Hort are being held in pre-trial detention.

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