Official: Traffic Police HQ Sold One Year Ago

Local rights groups on Wednes­day blasted the lack of transparency in the exchange of the state-owned Municipal Police headquarters with private company Phanimex Co, while a senior police official said that the Mu­nicipal Traffic Police De­part­ment head­quarters has also been sold.

The senior police official, speak­ing on condition of anon­ym­ity, said the traffic police headquarters, situated on the corner of Monivong Boulevard and Rus­sian Boulevard, was sold to a private firm about one year ago. The official did not name the firm.

Rights group Licadho on Wednesday demanded that the government draw up a list of state-owned assets and inform the public when they are ex­changed or sold.

“The problem in Cambodia, ever­ything is sold. All the deals be­tween companies and the state [are] all opaque…. Cambodian peo­ple have a right to know,” Li­cadho founder Kek Galabru said.

On Tuesday, Phanimex director Suy Sophan said her company will build a new Municipal Police headquarters in Russei Keo district, about 9 km from the city center, in exchange for the current city-center police offices.

“We’d like the government to show us this isn’t a secret deal,” Kek Galabru said.

The public is inclined to fear that private individuals profit when state-owned property is secretly swapped with private firms, Thun Sary, Adhoc director said.

Contacted about the reported swap Tuesday, Municipal Police Chief Heng Pov referred questions to National Police Com­mis­sioner Hok Lundy, whose phone was not working.

Khieu Kanharith, government spokesman, was also unavailable for comment.

Tamara Teneishvili, Unesco culture program specialist, said Wednesday she hoped Phan­i­mex would preserve rather than dis­mantle the headquarters.

“We are for developing the city, but we are against these sacrifices,” she said.

The Municipal Police head­quarters is attached to Preah Mo­ni­vong Police Hospital, which it was revealed on Sunday is being discussed as the possible site of a shopping mall to be developed by the Royal Group family of companies that controls MobiTel and Cambodian Television Network.

Thorn Sanlorn and Ly Va, two workers at the site of the new Municipal Police headquarters in Russei Keo district said a new hospital is also being built next door.


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