Military Police Officer Faces Fraud Charge in K’Cham

Kompong Cham Provincial Court on Thursday charged a military police official with forgery and fraud for allegedly faking documents to secure the promotion of a subordinate.

Pov Sam Heng, second deputy commander of the province’s Royal Military Police Commission, was arrested Nov 14 for allegedly taking $3,000 in exchange for ensuring that an officer would be promoted, said Khut Sokha, chief of the provincial military police’s crime and investigation office.

Mr Sokha declined to offer many details about the alleged crime, whether Mr Sam Heng demanded the bribe or merely accepted the offer, for example. He did say, however, that the suspect was believed to have forged the signatures of some unnamed senior officials at the Ministry of Defense.

He added that investigators suspected more people in the provincial force were involved both in giving bribes for the promise of promotions and in forging signatures to accommodate them.

“To forge documents, especially with the signatures of senior leaders for personal interest, is illegal,” Mr Sokha said.

Phan Sopheak, deputy prosecutor at the provincial court, said Mr Sam Heng was being held in provisional detention at the provincial prison.

“After several months of investigation of that military police official, the finding is that there is a lot of inculpatory evidence to press charges,” he said.

Mr Sopheak said he was continuing the investigation, however, “because military police believe that there are more officials who may have been involved.”

Phuong Sothea, provincial monitor for human rights group Adhoc, welcomed the charges as the first against a senior military police officer prosecuted for forgery or fraud since March.

“Whenever there is no arrest of an official for committing crimes such as forging documents to secure promotions it will discourage others in the force who work hard but don’t have the money to pay a bribe for a higher rank,” he said.

“Promotions should be given to the right people,” Mr Sothea said.

 

 

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