Telecom Cambodia Suspends 2 More Employees in Graft Probe

Telecom Cambodia has suspended two more employees in an ongoing investigation into the alleged embezzlement of at least $230,000 from the state-owned firm, a firm spokesman said Tuesday.

Sem Sam Ang, the firm’s director of debt and income, was suspended in September, following a strike by staff who accused Mr. Sam Ang of pocketing payments made to the firm by Internet provider NeocomISP since 2012. Another employee accused of wrongdoing, deputy finance director Khem Teng Soeun, was also suspended.

Tuesday, Telecom Cambodia spokesman Sorn Vy said two more employees were suspended without pay on October 20.

“Now we have announced the suspension of four people in total, because the inspection investigators want to check whether or not they really stole money,” he said.                         “We are not accusing them of embezzling yet because the inspectors have not finished their analysis and they have not said whether more money has been lost.”

An October 20 statement from Telecom Cambodia identified the two newly suspended officials as Som Bouphallary, the firm’s deputy director of debt and income, and Nay Sam Kol, the finance director.

It added that all four must come to the office every day to assist with the investigation.

Telecommunications Ministry spokesman Hun Saroeun said the ministry had yet to determine whether the four acted together.

“The inspectors didn’t give me a lot of details, but they found two more people involved in embezzling from Telecom Cambodia. I don’t know if they did it all together,” he said.

Neither Ms. Bouphallary nor Mr. Sam Kol could be reached for comment.

After his suspension in September, Mr. Sam Ang denied the allegations against him. He said NeocomISP paid its accounts by both check and cash and that he received some of the cash payments directly and passed them on to the finance department without properly documenting the transactions.

Mr. Teng Souen also denied the accusations, claiming that he never received any such payments from Mr. Sam Ang.

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