An official in the Interior Ministry’s anti-economic crime department has been jailed for corruption for illicit taking money from some 100 businesses in Phnom Penh, the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) said. A colleague is being sought for related charges.
Huy Hoeun, deputy director of the department’s intellectual property office, was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) and charged on Thursday by Investigating Judge Bun Thy, according to Phnom Penh Municipal Court spokesman Ly Sophana.
Huy Hoeun. (Credit to Anti-Corruption Unit)Mr. Hoeun is facing the charge of misappropriation of public funds, which carries a prison sentence of two to five years in prison and a fine of 4 to 10 million riel, or about $1,000 to $2,500.
Mr. Sophana said that another official at the department, Em Kosal, was facing the same charges and had been placed under court supervision. He referred questions about whether the suspect was being sought for arrest to the ACU.
Om Yentieng, chairman of the ACU, said the agency had already sent a request to the municipal court to arrest Mr. Kosal. Asked for more information about the case, he scolded a reporter for asking too many questions.
Mr. Yentieng referenced a letter sent to The Cambodia Daily about a separate article on a case involving a garment factory that had reported an official for demanding bribes. Although the factory was named in court hearings, the letter said the newspaper had violated the anti-corruption law by naming the factory and threatened journalists with jail time if it happened again.
“This time, if there are any problems causing difficulties for my work and violating the law, I will sue, let me say that,” the chairman said on Friday. “In this case, we have been following it for five to six months, it affects over 100 companies, do you think that it can be quiet?”
Chan Vanthoeun, director of the anti-economic crime department, said he was not aware of the case.
According to a statement released by the ACU, Mr. Hoeun illicitly collected money—ranging from about $5 to $1,000 at a time—from more than 100 companies since he took up the post in Phnom Penh 10 months ago.
The official, the statement said, “collected money for several months and the last time was on 21 March at a coffee shop, so the Anti-Corruption Unit arrested him and followed court procedures.”
phearun@cambodiadaily.com*
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