Military deny school graft
The National Military Police have denied that the director of their training school in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district acted corruptly by demanding trainees pay unofficial fees, saying they were voluntary and part of a culture of sharing.
School director Eur Savorn was hit by a number of allegations published this weekend in local media based on leaked claims made by a group of anonymous trainees.
The trainees criticized the order to pay $140 for the school to buy a bed each, which they said was for Mr. Savorn’s personal benefit, local media reported.
National Military spokesman Eng Hy denied yesterday that the accusation was true and said it was about a “culture of sharing” after he conducted an investigation which included questioning trainees and the director.
He said those making the allegations intended to damage the reputation of the unit.
“The contribution of money was not forced,” he said. “It was on a voluntary basis. If they don’t pay it is okay, or they can pay for one bed each or two can pay for one bed.
“The school director appealed to the generosity of the people, his subordinates as well as the trainees to help with the contribution,” he said.
Mr. Hy said the school will give back the contributions from the nine out of more than 80 trainees who had contributed.
“We have built infrastructure costing millions of dollars. How come we don’t have just a little money to buy beds?
“It is much more about the culture of sharing. Because of this story, we will give back all the money those trainees contributed,” he said.
Other allegations were that if trainees wanted to go out, go on leave, sleep outside the school, eat out or get a good evaluation, they needed to pay money.
Mr. Hy said: “There have been no such cases. I asked the trainees and the school director. He said that if he took any money as alleged, he will resign.”
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