Committee Formed To Investigate Union Official

The Coalition on Cambodia Ap­parel Workers Democratic Union established a committee on Sunday to investigate allegations that a top union official received payments from the Ministry of Social Affairs in 2003, the union’s president said Monday.

President Ath Thon said the com­mittee was formed of more than 20 union officials from factories in various parts of the country to investigate Chhorn Sokha, the union’s current vice president and pre­vious president in 2003.

“It is a committee to investigate whe­ther to suspend or fire [Chhorn Sokha]” if she is found guilty, Ath Thon said.

He added that the committee was established in response to ru­mors in his office that Chhorn Sok­ha took $250 from the government ministry.

The committee “aims to find the truth,” he said, adding that he is not a member of the committee.

Chhorn Sokha denied that she had been involved in corruption, though she said that she had re­ceived $250 from the ministry short­ly before the national election of July 2003.

She said that she received the money in return for transporting 700 garment factory workers to the Apsara Television station to receive pre-election gifts from CPP Minis­ter of Social Affairs Ith Sam Heng.

“Before the election, Mr Ith Sam Heng proposed to me for 700 workers to gather at Apsara Television,” she said. “The ministry gave me [$250] for the rent of the trucks.”

She added that Ath Thon ap­pears to be confused about the incident in believing that she indulged in corrupt behavior.

“There was no corruption,” she said, adding that Ath Thon may be taking revenge on her after she al­legedly found out that he had been in­correctly filling in invoices to claim ex­penses from the union.

Ath Thon denied that he had padded his expenses.

Ith Sam Heng did not answer repeated calls on Monday, while Say Siphonn, a CPP secretary of state at the ministry, said he was un­aware of the case.


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