Takeo province Governor Kep Chuktema said Sunday he will crack down on any local police officials who are demanding money from families to process their family books.
The Khmer newspaper Rasmei Kampuchea reported that Takeo province officials are demanding money from families following the national government’s orders to update family books this year.
Family books are used to keep track of such vital statistics as date of birth, date of marriage, number of children and date of death. Changes to the family book must be authorized by commune or district police officials.
According to Kep Chuktema, an original decree from the Ministry of Interior ordered a processing charge of 6,000 riel ($1.54), with the money collected to be sent directly to the ministry. But Kep Chuktema said a second decree from the ministry ordered officials to stop collecting money.
Now police officials in Bati district are accused of pressuring families to pay between 10,000 riel ($2.56) and 30,000 riel ($7.70) to update family books.
“Nobody told those police to ask for money from people,” Kep Chuktema said. He said he learned about the problem from reading the newspaper. “If it is serious, we may punish the officials.”
Nou Sangway, Takeo’s province police chief, promised to watch what his officials are doing at the district or commune level.
“I have already educated people not to take money for family records,” he said. “If local police did, they abused the principle. I will warn them.”