Monday, December 02, 2013

Official Charged With Misappropriating Funds

Om Yintieng, head of Anti-Corruption Unit.
By Eang Mengleng, The Cambodia Daily
December 2, 2013

The deputy director of the Preah Sihanouk provincial tax branch who was arrested for corruption last week was on Friday charged with the misappropriation of public funds, an official confirmed Sunday.

Phy Rith, who was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) on Wednesday, was charged by the Preah Sihanouk Provincial Court under Article 592 of the penal code, provincial prison director Sam Sophal said.

“Mr. Rith was charged under Article 592 and sent to prison for pretrial detention on Friday,” Mr. Sophal said.

Article 592 of the penal code pertains to public officials who “demand or receive as entitlements, duties or taxes of any sum known not to be due” to them, and to officials who grant exemptions to payable duties or taxes.
The crime is punishable by two to five years in prison and a fine of 4 million to 10 million riel, or about $1,000 to $2,500, according to the penal code.

The ACU could not be reached for comment on the nature or scale of the misappropriation of funds undertaken by Mr. Rith in his role at the tax branch.

“We have received documents and the suspect from the ACU to take measures,” said provincial court prosecutor Bou Bunheang, referring further questions to the ACU.

Deputy provincial police chief Sam Phally said he had not been aware of the case.

“We did not know that this arrest happened. For this case, the ACU did not cooperate with provincial police,” Mr. Phally said, declining to comment further.

The ACU last week also charged two staff members of the Mondolkiri provincial branch of Electricite du Cambodge for forging documents in order to pocket money collected from customers paying their bills.

Mr. Yentieng has said that he will comment on the two separate corruption cases on Tuesday.

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