Teacher Arrested, Released Following Theft Allegations

A Phnom Penh teacher has been arrested for allegedly forcing a 9-year-old student to steal more than $1,400 from her parents.

The girl’s parents had hired Yoeur Lakhena, a teacher at the Chaktomuk secondary school, to teach their daughter in their home, paying her $60 a month, said Sim Hong, deputy commander of municipal military police.

For more than a year, Yoeur Lakhena forced the girl to steal money from her parents, threatening her, hitting her on the head and pinching her thighs to make her comply, Sim Hong said.

The girl stole a total of $1,420 on 20 different occasions before her father, Chuon Kol, a police officer with the Ministry of Interior, caught his daughter taking money.

The teacher was arrested but released after she agreed to pay back the money she stole, Sin Hong said.

The child’s parents asked that the teacher be released and that she not be taken to court. “It is not good for a pupil’s study if we arrest the teacher,” said Pou Davy, a military police official. “That will waste time.”

While Yoeur Lakhena will not be charged with theft, the police will be filing a complaint against her for deceit, Pou Davy said.

School staff emphasized that the case did not involve the school because it happened while Yoeur Lakhena was giving private lessons.


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