Anti-Trafficking Official Missing After Suspension

The Ministry of Interior is seeking to arrest the former head of the municipal anti-trafficking bureau, who went missing following his suspension last month for allegedly extorting money from foreigners, an official said Monday.

Meng Say was suspended from work on Jan 19 after being accused of arresting South Koreans to ex­tort money from them.

“The Interior Ministry is looking to arrest him,” said Municipal Po­lice Commissioner Touch Naruth, adding that the ministry has invited Meng Say for questioning but he has failed to attend.

“He has run away,” Touch Nar­uth said, adding that the South Korean Embassy has filed a complaint against the former police official.

A series of municipal police officials have been arrested in recent weeks, on charges including beating a wo­man to death in custody, assassinating judge Sok Sethamony in 2003 and attempting to kill both National Military Police Command­er Sao Sokha and Municipal Court Chief Prosecutor Ouk Savouth.

Former municipal minor crime po­lice chief Hong Setha, who is ac­cused of involvement in the wo­man’s death, was replaced on Monday, Touch Naruth said.

Hong Setha was replaced at a ceremony at municipal police headquarters by Song Ly, former dep­uty police chief at the Interior Ministry’s anti-human trafficking office, Touch Naruth said.

Meng Say was also replaced, by Rith Sokha, a former deputy police chief at the municipal anti-drug trafficking bureau.

A heretofore unknown group of eight NGOs called The Committee Strict Law Enforcement for Human Rights in Cambodia released a statement condemning the treatment of the imprisoned municipal police officers.

The statement, received on Mon­day and signed by Cambodian Na­tional Research Organization Pres­ident Heang Rithy, appealed for their release and alleged that Ly Rasy, deputy municipal minor crime police chief, has been tortured in custody.

 

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