Investigators did not find definitive evidence that a Kompong Thom provincial police chief had accepted bribes, but he may still face removal over his treatment of his subordinates, an Interior Ministry official said on Wednesday.
Pen Vibol, head of the Interior Ministry’s personnel department, said the ministry’s inspectors had completed a probe into Chou Sam An and would send a report of their findings to National Police chief Neth Savoeun by early next week.
Inspectors were unable to verify accusations from six district officers that Brigadier General Sam An had accepted bribes of up to $7,000 when filling positions within his department. However, General Savoeun will consider their testimony when deciding Brig. Gen. Sam An’s future on the force, Mr. Vibol said.
The probe revealed that Brig. Gen. Sam An did not conduct formal weekly or monthly meetings with his subordinates as required, Mr. Vibol said. Instead, the chief would take occasional oral reports from district officials, but then forget the contents of the reports, he said.
About half of the provincial police officials questioned during the investigation said they were unhappy with Brig. Gen. Sam An’s leadership, Mr. Vibol added.
“We have found that the provincial police chief is guilty because he was not understanding to his subordinates, and he treated them very strictly,” he said.
Brig. Gen. Sam An defended his promotions of certain police officials over others, saying the decisions rested in the hands of more senior officials. “Some upper-level officials or relatives of the officials telephoned me and asked us to promote their people, and I agreed,” he said.
He said he did not believe that half of his staff had criticized him, stating that the six officers who accused him of bribery were upset because they did not receive promotions.
“I am not worried about the loss of my position because I am not corrupt as I am accused of being,” he said. “The upper level can remove me, and I will not be upset, because this position does not belong to me forever.”