A National Military Police taskforce has opened a corruption investigation against Brigadier General Kong Saokun, Preah Vihear provincial military police commander, who is suspected of funnelling about $20,000 from the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.
Prior to the national election, an unnamed military police officer in Preah Vihear told a local newspaper that Brig Gen Saokun funnelled nearly $20,000 from General Hing Bun Hieng, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces.
In the report, he said that the money was meant to support Unit K26-2’s operational costs during the national election.
The military police officer also alleged that Brig Gen Saokun grabbed land from the unit, misspent budgets and was involved in the extortion of money from illegal loggers.
National Military Police commander General Sao Sokha said yesterday that a taskforce was created to investigate the case and verify if the allegations against Brig Gen Saokun are true.
“This work was done by the taskforce and members of the taskforce were verifying the truth,” Gen Sokha said, adding that further questions should be referred to National Military Police spokesman Brigadier General Eng Hy.
Brig Gen Hy said yesterday that the investigation is ongoing.
“Our National Military Police officials are on working the case,” he said, declining to elaborate.
Lor Chann, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said that the investigation is an internal National Military Police matter, and that it could have stemmed from conflict of interest.
“I think that this is an internal problem and that those involved are involved in conflict of interest,” Mr Chann said. “So we will continue to observe this case.”
Brig Gen Saokun yesterday denied all of the accusations.
“What they accuse me of is not true,” he said, adding that Gen Bun Hieng provided him with only $12,500, which was spent on equipment for the unit. “I did not commit the crime they’re accusing me of.”