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Police officer accused of extortion

Khy Sovuthy / Khmer Times Share:
Colonel Pov Siphann has been accused of extortion. Supplied

A couple in Kampong Chhang province’s Svay Chrum commune have filed a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Unit against a provincial anti-drugs bureau chief, accusing him of detaining family members to extort money from them.

Chuon Thieb and his wife Chan Vanna, 53, filed the complaint against Colonel Pov Siphann, 47, and other officers.

On April 12, provincial police led by Mr Siphann went to crackdown on drug crime and gambling at a coffee house behind the plaintiffs’ home.

Police arrested several people including Mr Thieb’s son Chuon Thunthean, 18, while he was buying coffee.

Mr Thunthean’s Zoomer X was among several motorbikes seized.

Police let him go, along with his motorbike, after a urine test detected no drugs.

The family say Mr Thunthean told his father that a worker who maintained their pigs had his bike confiscated. He asked his father to seek its return but when he did, police arrested him.

Another group of police officers went to the family home to arrest Mr Thunthean and confiscate his motorbike again.

The plaintiffs allege the officer asked for money to release suspects. Supplied

Mr Thieb said police refused to let him give his car keys to his wife. They confiscated his car, pushed him into a police car and brought him and his son to the provincial police headquarters.

Police checked him and his car for drugs. They found none but did not release them.

The family say Mr Siphann and his officers then demanded $20,000 from Ms Vanna for their release.

His son was freed after paying them $100 but Mr Thieb was not released. Police ordered his wife and his son to bring the amount of money they demanded.

Mr Siphann agreed to release him after she paid $3,000.

Mr Thieb said he and his wife filed a complaint against Mr Siphann to the ACU on April 20.

“Please punish Pov Siphann and his accomplices according to the law,” Mr Thieb said. “I demand my own money back and I demand $13,000 of the compensation.”

Mr Siphann said the ACU had questioned him and allowed him to go back home.

“It is not true as Mr Thieb accused me,” Mr  Siphann said. “But Mr Thieb wanted to hurt me because he is a rich person. I did not receive money like he accused.”

Provincial  police chief Loch Vannara said the case was sent to the court on April 13. He was not sure if his officers committed the crime but they denied it in the police report.

Om Yentieng, chairman of ACU, could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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