Kompong Thom Police Chief Accused of Corruption by Own Officers

Police officers in Kompong Thom province have accused their boss and two of his deputies of widespread corruption, including taking kickbacks for promotions, and demanded his removal in a letter sent to Interior Minister Sar Kheng.

The letter dated February 3, which contains the thumbprints of six officers, accuses provincial police chief Chou Sam An and his deputies, Ith Kimsrun and Kheav Channy, of accepting payments in exchange for jobs.

The officers contend the three took sums ranging between $500 to $7,000 from those seeking jobs or promotions, with the price depending on the role. If the promised placements did not materialize, the illegal payments were not returned, the letter says.

Potential deputy district police chiefs were required to fork out between $2,000 and $3,000, while commune police chiefs were expected to pay $500 to $1,000, the letter says.

“We, police officials in Kompong Thom province, wish to request Samdech Kralahorm [Sar Kheng] to remove the three individuals from the provincial police secretariat because they created a serious problem and we are not able to work with them anymore,” the letter reads.

Contacted on Tuesday, Brigadier General Sam An said a jealous deputy, whom he declined to name, was behind the allegations.

“I did not collect money from police officials like the accusation says. [The complainants] came to me and asked me to arrange an appointment and promotion for their people, and they were not happy when I refused,” Brig. Gen. Sam An said.

He claimed the complaining officiers were the ones accepting bribes, regularly taking $2,000, and that he would deny their requests. The group was also frustrated after his contract was recently extended for two years despite nearing retirement age, Brig. Gen. Sam An said.

He said that he planned to write to Mr. Kheng and National Police Chief Neth Savoeun.

Mr. Channy on Tuesday also denied the claim, but declined to comment further. Mr. Kimsrun could not be reached for comment.

General Savoeun said he had not yet received any information about the allegations, but would open an investigation if enough evidence was provided to back up the claims.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry could not be reached for comment.

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Correction: A previous version of this article misspelled the name of Interior Minister Sar Kheng. 

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