Police Chief Moved to Interior Ministry After Corruption Probe

The Kompong Thom police chief at the center of a weekslong corruption probe is being moved to the Interior Ministry’s crime department to take over the job of the man who will replace him, a government official said on Sunday.

Chou Sam An will become the deputy director of the ministry’s crime department, with Ouk Kosal moving in the opposite direction, said Pen Vibol, director of the Interior Ministry’s personnel department, with an appointment ceremony scheduled to take place at the provincial police headquarters on Tuesday.

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Major General Chou Sam An. (Fresh News)

National Police chief Neth Savoeun will preside over the ceremony, he added.

An investigation into Major General Sam An began after six of his subordinates filed a complaint last month accusing him of requesting bribes of between $500 and $7,000 in return for promotions. Two of his deputies, Ith Kimsrun and Kheav Channy, were also accused of being complicit in the alleged corruption.

Maj. Gen. Sam An refuted the allegations, contending it was the accusers who had been accepting bribes.

While the investigation found no evidence that the major general had accepted money in return for promotions, Mr. Vibol said last week that he was involved in appointing some officers in a manner that contradicted standard procedure.

Mr. Vibol also said the six accusers could be set for disciplinary action, but on Sunday declined to comment on whether any decision on those measures had been made. He also said last week that both Mr. Kimsrun and Mr. Channy would be punished, but did not say how.

Maj. Gen. Sam An, 59, on Sunday lamented the decision.

“I am upset for the removal of my position because we worked very hard, but we did not get a good result,” he said.

Ke Khannara, the province’s deputy police chief, said that he believed the decision to transfer his boss was warranted.

“I think that the removal of the provincial police chief is fair because Chou Sam An has had many problems in his job in the past, and many of his subordinates were not happy to work with him,” he said.

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