Poipet Military Police Officers Jailed for Taking Bribes

Poipet City’s deputy military police commander and three of his officers have been charged and sent to prison after admitting to taking bribes from suspected thieves in exchange for releasing them, an official said on Sunday.

After allegedly breaking into a car parked at Poipet’s international border checkpoint and making off with the equivalent of about $15,000 in Thai baht, two suspects were arrested by city military police officers on October 13, according to a military police report. They were released and rearrested the next day, officials said.

Men Phirom, deputy Banteay Meanchey provincial military police commander, said Tem Bola, 45, the deputy city commander, and his three subordinates, all chief warrant officers, were charged with receiving stolen goods and failing to file a complaint about a felony or misdemeanor by a public official.

“The court decided to provisionally imprison them,” he said of Mr. Bola and the other officers—Chan Hav, 37, Som Sonel, 35, and Kong Virak, 33. The crimes carry a combined prison sentence of three to eight years and a fine of up to 16 million riel, or about $4,000.

According to the military police report, the suspects in the initial robbery—Ry Kon, 31, and Voeun Van, 24—broke into a car belonging to Tan Sophay, 45, after he parked and got out at the border checkpoint to get his passport stamped at about 7 p.m. on October 13.

They were arrested about an hour later, it added. Mr. Kon asked to meet with Mr. Bola, and the two went to Mr. Kon’s house together, it said, adding that Mr. Bola left the house alone with 130,000 baht, or about $3,700.

Mr. Kon then visited Mr. Van, who was still being detained at the city military police station, paying another 31,750 baht, or about $904, to the other officers to secure his release.

Under questioning, the three officers said that their actions were “only done following orders from Mr. Tem Bola,” according to the report. Mr. Bola confessed to the crimes under questioning last week, officials said.

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