Police Accuse Boss of Selling Promotions

More than 50 district police officers from Ratanakkiri province have filed a complaint against their chief, accusing him of collecting money from staff in exchange for promotions, though the chief says he has already been absolved of any wrongdoing.

Than Chanthorn, a deputy chief of the O’ Chum district police, said he and 52 fellow officers signed the complaint against district police chief Hong Kimseng and submitted it on August 28 to the provincial police headquarters and the provincial government.

“We have filed a complaint against the district police chief because he extorted money from his subordinates,” Mr. Chanthorn said. “Mr. Kimseng used his power to put pressure on them.”

The deputy chief said that Mr. Kimseng extorted between $50 and $1,000 from individual officers in exchange for moving them up in the ranks since he became the police chief last year.

Mr. Chanthorn also said the police chief collected 51.5 million riels, or about $12,880, by charging O’ Chum residents 10,000 riel (about $2.50) a head to receive national identification cards, and put fines paid in criminal cases into his own pocket.

“We wanted the discipline council to remove Mr. Kimseng because he does not deserve to be the boss, but they disagreed with our demand,” Mr. Chanthorn said.

At a meeting at the provincial police headquarters on Wednesday, he said, the discipline council told him and 10 other officers to withdraw their complaint because the case was based on a misunderstanding.

Provincial police chief Nguon Koeun said yesterday that the discipline council was still investigating and declined to comment further.

Mr. Kimseng, however, said that the discipline council had already found him to be innocent.

“I did not extort money from subordinates and keep money that was collected from crimes,” Mr. Kimseng said, accusing his deputy of fabricating the corruption claims in retaliation for being disciplined over his failure to show up to work.

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