The Industry Ministry is investigating a corruption case in Koh Kong province following a complaint filed by civil servants against their superior.
According to the complaint sent to Industry Minister Cham Prasidh last week by five civil servants with the provincial industry department, 18 families are locked in a land dispute with Khloem Korki, the department’s director.
According to the complaint, families of the civil servants have been living on land belonging to the provincial department since 1990.
In the complaint, they stated that houses have been built and land cultivated. They added that relevant authorities measured plots of land meant for them last year, but nothing had been distributed.
In the complaint, they alleged that Mr Korki informed the provincial land management department to stop issuing land titles to the families of the civil servants.
“These acts caused those living on those plots of land to protest time after time, but they were ignored by Mr Korki and he continued to threaten them,” the complaint said.
The complaint also said that Mr Korki collaborated with a previous ministry inspection team, causing misdirection of the issue in Mr Korki’s favour.
The complaint also alleged that Mr Korki used the name of a senior ministry official and the name of an undersecretary of state to threaten those who did not agree with him.
Industry Ministry spokesman Oum Sotha said that the ministry received the complaint and has ordered an inspection team from the ministry to take a closer look at the dispute.
“I must comprehensively review this case and listen to all parties involved, we can’t only listen to one side,” he said. “Those plots of land are owned by the state, so the government could issue land titles for the families if they have been living there for a long time and the state has no use for it.”
Mr Korki could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Koh Kong Provincial Hall spokesman Sok Sothy said that he will meet Mr Korki’s for his side of the story today.