Ratanakkiri Prison Chief Investigated For Sex With Inmate, Corruption

The chief of the Ratanakkiri Provincial Prison is being investigated for having sex with a female inmate and making her clean his house, as well as pocketing about $500 a month from the sale of handicrafts made by inmates, an official said on Monday.

Nouth Savna, spokesman for the Interior Ministry’s general department of prisons, said an investigation into Tin Sovanna was opened following a complaint from the prison’s deputy head, Chhorm Sreypech.

“We have sent experts to investigate this case,” Mr. Savna said, explaining the team would take three days to investigate. “If he has committed wrongdoings, he will face administrative fines and the criminal code but we don’t yet know what he’s done wrong.”

“Public opinion always makes evaluations when scandals explode like this, so please keep it quiet and wait for the results of the investigation,” he added.

Ms. Sreypech said she filed her complaint with thumbprints from dozens of inmates to the general department of prisons on December 6, alleging that the prison chief copulated with an inmate and embezzled the proceeds of fishing nets woven by inmates.

“He is oppressive—he threatens to imprison officials or suspend them when he gets angry, and 2 million riel [about $500] goes into his pocket a month from the prisoners’ crafts,” Ms. Sreypech said.

“He would take a woman prisoner to clean his house every day,” she added. “On November 26, a woman prisoner who cleaned his house told prison officials and inmates that he had sex with her three times and did not pay her money one time.”

Ms. Sreypech said the inmate had stolen 4 million riel (about $1,000) from the prison chief’s house the last time she was taken there on November 23, confident he could not complain about the theft without implicating himself in his own wrongdoings.

Yet Mr. Sovanna had her prison cell searched and recovered his money, Ms. Sreypech said, leading the inmate to file a complaint against him.

Mr. Sovanna declined to be interviewed on Monday.

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