Ostap Doroshenko, the scion of a Russian family with vast business holdings in Sihanoukville, has been fired from his post on a provincial police force for failing to show up for work and not singing the national anthem, officials said on Tuesday.
Ostap is the son of Nikolai Doroshenko, a businessman who has lived in Cambodia for more than two decades and flaunts his wealth, publicly displaying his collection of luxury cars and recently placing an airplane atop a condominium project in the coastal town.
The younger Doroshenko was stripped last week of his rank as a Preah Sihanouk provincial police captain and dismissed from the National Police for breaching its guidelines, according to a proclamation signed by Interior Minister Sar Kheng dated January 18.
“Disciplined Captain Doroshenko Ostap, ID 70340, office of Preah Sihanouk provincial police commissariat, is informed of the stripping of his rank and dismissal from the National Police framework,” it says.
“Reason: violated discipline of the national police.”
His salary and entitlements payments would be terminated in March, it added.
Im Voleak, the deputy provincial police chief, said his office had complained to National Police headquarters because the younger Doroshenko was not showing up for work or singing the national anthem with his fellow officers.
“It was our provincial police report that made Samdech [Mr. Kheng] make a decision,” he said.
“He did not respect the force’s discipline. Our force principles [say] he needs to show up and join in the anthem, but he is arrogant because he is a foreigner. He has the money and he can obtain whatever [rank] he wants,” Mr. Voleak said.
“He did not come to work and just went about his own business.”
Asked about his dismissal in a text message, Ostap responded with a smiling face emoji.
“All ok! I’m happy cus I’ve been asking for long time about stop from immigration police and I’m preparing documents for new job in military,” he said. “I don’t care what they said, but I know what I want.”
Nikolai, who, like his son, is a Cambodian citizen, famously feuded with Russian rival Sergei Polonsky before the eccentric former oligarch was deported to Russia in 2015, where he was jailed on embezzlement charges.
Nikolai was jailed in March 2015 after being charged with forgery and breach of trust for allegedly defrauding Mr. Polonsky of $10 million, but has freely traveled abroad after being released on bail, despite supposedly agreeing to remain in Cambodia.
His son was transferred in May from Preah Sihanouk province, where he was a captain in the provincial immigration police, to the Interior Ministry’s personnel department.
He was instructed to return to Sihanoukville and assigned to the provincial police’s personnel bureau late last year, rather than the immigration department as he had requested, due to the “scandal” with Mr. Polonsky and others, Mr. Voleak said.
“He wanted to work as an immigration official, like his previous job, but because of his previous scandal with Polonsky and other foreigners, his request was rejected,” he said.
Kirth Chantharith, a National Police spokesman, said he was not aware of Ostap’s dismissal, but that generally only major infractions would lead to such action.
“In our administrative discipline, if an officer makes a minor mistake and if it is not serious, we will educate him in order to make him change,” Gen. Chantharith said.
“But if he commits a serious crime…we must fire him,” he said. “I have never heard that he committed mistakes, but I am not sure about the end of last year. He was working in Sihanoukville.”
(Additional reporting by Sonia Kohlbacher)