Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Monday complained that traffic police had yet to be paid their promised share of traffic fines and threatened senior police officials with demotion unless they rectified the problem shortly.
Late last year, the government said traffic police would get to keep 70 percent of traffic fines they levied on motorists—up from the 50 percent they were due before—as part of a new traffic law that took effect in January.
However, at a ceremony in Phnom Penh on Monday to mark the 71st anniversary of the National Police, Mr. Kheng said the officers were long overdue for the first installment of their share of the fines from January and February.
“Up to now they have not gotten it yet, so where did it go?” he said. “This is what we call injustice. They do not get it even though they work hard under the scorching sun.”
“Provincial police chiefs have signed [reports] that [traffic police] got it already,” he said. “I don’t believe it. If necessary, I will order police auditors to go down because we cannot lie to them. Even the people have heard that this money will be given to them.”
“Please, excellencies, be careful,” the minister warned. “If they find a place that is doing it correctly and they tell me, people in that place can be promoted. But any place that is not doing it correctly …their ranks will be reduced.”
Deputy National Police Commander Him Yan, whose purview includes traffic, declined to comment. Ty Long, deputy director of the Interior Ministry’s public order department, said he was not aware of the problem.
Chuon Narin, the police chief of Preah Sihanouk province, insisted that his traffic officers had already received their cut of the fines but declined to say when the money had been paid out.
“I have done my duty,” he said. “I have done nothing wrong.”
Kampot provincial police chief Mao Chanmathurith said he had been preoccupied dealing with the drought, but would give his officers their share very soon.
“We will send the money to their bank accounts directly,” he said. “I think they will get the money tomorrow or after tomorrow.”