Few Details Forthcoming on B Meanchey Police Probe

Details remained scant yesterday regarding potential allegations facing Brigadier General Hun Hean, former Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief, and his former deputy Chheng Son, as officials said the pair were questioned by police yesterday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak confirmed that Mr Hean was under investigation but said he had not been officially arrested, and that he had “no idea” what police were questioning Mr Hean about.

“So far, we are in the process of investigating,” he said. “All [the police] told me is they are interviewing him. That is all I know.”

Mr Hean said Sunday that he had learned he was to be reassigned from his position when the provincial governor passed him a note from Interior Minister Sar Kheng after celebrations for Jan 7 in Mongkol Borei district.

An official at the Interior Ministry, who is not authorized to speak to the press, said the pair were still being questioned late yesterday evening by the Interior Ministry’s personnel department police force.

Om Yentieng, president of the Anticorruption Unit, yesterday morning made

reference to a “high-ranking police official” under investigation by the ACU who is reportedly accused of extorting sums of between $5,000 and $8,000 from his colleagues while speaking at the Ministry of Culture.

But Keo Ramy, ACU spokesman, was yesterday unable to confirm or deny that Mr Hean was the officer under investigation by the ACU.

“Maybe we can allow some details later but…unless the investigation is finished we cannot give details,” he said. “We want to do our job effectively, and sometimes when we get involved with the target we cannot say details transparently. It is a technique of investigation.”

The investigation involving Mr Hean follows on the heels of the ACU’s much publicized November arrest of former Pursat Provincial Court prosecutor Tob Chan Sereivuth.

Mr Chan Sereivuth, who was also a former Banteay Meanchey Provincial Court judge, is still being held in detention at the Pursat Provincial Prison after being charged with extorting money from two men last June.

In December, Mr Yentieng also made passing reference to new investigations into officials at the Court of Appeal and Battambang Provincial Court. ACU officials have declined to provide any specific details about the court investigations.

The investigation into Mr Hean also follows charges being laid against Banteay Meanchey Provincial Prison Director Nuon Vanna in December for allegedly accepting a bribe in return for allowing an inmate to escape custody in September.

Mr Vanna was indefinitely suspended from his post in November as the Interior Ministry’s General Department of Prisons investigated the escape of 29-year-old Cambodian-American inmate Alexander Proeun.

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