I didn’t steal public money: senior official

Mom Sophon / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Kampot province education chief Tak Hab. Supplied

Kampot’s provincial education chief has denied claims that he embezzled thousands of dollars.

The Anti-Corruption Unit set out the complaints against Tak Hab and three other officials along with his denial of involvement.

Mr Hab came under fire recently after local news websites accused him of corruption.

An ACU document says the four embezzled 300 to 400 million riel per year.

The money allegedly came from corruption, cheating on total expenses of roughly 500 million riel, mostly through advance money, direct payments, expenses, and public interventions.

The ACU also linked the corruption to the acting chief of police Phok Koy, deputy head of office Ou Pheang and official at the account office So Linda.

Mr Hab also had to explain to the ACU about a phone call last July, a day before the information was released, in which the payment of a large sum for the non-publication of the information was discussed.

Mr Hab’s response at the time: “It’s ok to publish it if it’s the truth. But if it’s not true, I will file a complaint.” After that the news was published.

Mr Hab told the ACU that after the news was published, he held an internal meeting to clarify the points raised by the news publication. According to him, all was accounted for and within the boundaries of the law.

Mr Hab declined to comment on the latest developments.

The executive director of the Affiliated Network for Social Accountability, San Chey, said that officials or citizens should file complaints about corruption more frequently to stall corruption in state institutions.

He added that if National Audit Authority’s reports did not find any irregularities in the current cash flow, it would be embarrassing and discourage people from asking for inquiries.

“There were serious accusations and the responses were just excuses. The ACU should verify the other audit reports and internal audit reports of the Ministry of Education and Research,” he said.

“But if there is such a big allegation and the internal audit does not find the source of irregularities, it would also be a suspicious issue.”

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