Military Police Commander Accused of Extortion, Torture

Military police in Stung Treng province said Sunday they were searching for the person responsible for anonymously distributing hundreds of leaflets Saturday in Stung Treng City accusing the provincial military police commander of being an extortionist, drug kingpin and thief.

The leaflets claimed that the commander, Ieng Vandy, abused his power for personal gain, and appealed to Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife, Bun Rany, to intervene.

“We, the people of Stung Treng province, hate and do not like Mr. Ieng Vandy,” the leaflets say.

The leaflets also accuse Mr. Vandy of being “the leader of an extortion ring, drug kingpin and head of a cattle thief gang who stole the people’s property. He is a corrupt person and hidden torturer.”

Sao Sarem, the provincial deputy military police commander, said that his forces are trying to collect all the leaflets—which were distributed by markets and on roads—and find the person who distributed them.

“The leaflets were shared to defame the military police commander and the military police,” Mr. Sarem said.

According to Mr. Sarem, Mr. Vandy was promoted to the head of the provincial military police about two years ago and has had numerous accusations leveled against him since then.

“I have worked here for more than seven year and I never had any problem,” he said. “Why do so many people hate him?”

In November 2013, Mr. Vandy came under fire after detaining a 23-year-old student who posted a photo of the police commander on Facebook along with a caption that accused him of extortion. The man was only released from custody after agreeing to post a public apology to Mr. Vandy.

Mr. Vandy could not be reached for comment. At the time of the Facebook incident, he said the public claim of extortion was “defamation and disinformation which affects my dignity because I have done nothing wrong.”

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