Official: Coffel Probe Shows Graft Occurred

An investigation into alleged graft at the election monitor Coalition for Free and Fair Elec­tions has been completed but will not be publicly released, officials involved said Wednes­day.

The investigation confirmed the findings of a report completed March 7 by the PriceWater­house­­­Coopers auditing firm, according to Coffel President Ungyoak Khon. The report said falsified records were used to divert cash from the organization’s budget and buy televisions, clothes and airfares to Bangkok, and to cover numerous expenses that were not in the donors’ budget line.

The allegations first came to light when former Coffel employees resigned after claiming that former executive director Sek Sophal had misdirected donor funds. A report prepared by the employees for the organization’s donors, including ForumSYD, claimed about $13,000 was missing from the budget.

A preliminary investigation by PriceWaterhouseCoopers re­leased March 7 found that falsified documents were used to cover $3,145.32 in staff expenses, including a staff trip to Kirirom National Park, a television for the night guard, clothes, two airfares to Bangkok and car rental for two months.

Other expenses included re­freshments, celebrations, bonuses, English classes, gifts to monks, fruit for guests, a bed, a television and gifts for volunteers.

A former Coffel accountant told investigators she believed the expenses were appropriate for the office, but not covered by the donors’ budget lines.



Related Stories

Latest News