Forestry Chief Denies Allegations of Corruption.

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Forestry Chief Denies Allegations of Corruption.

Post by CEOCambodiaNews » Thu Dec 01, 2016 12:02 pm

On a positive note, it is encouraging that these allegations are being dealt with publicly. Less positive is the ACU's record in dealing with cases of corruption by high officials linked to the ruling party. It is also possible that these accusations are motivated by discontented officials who are not happy with their part of the pie. In that case, this will probably end with a wrist-slap and a bit of pie-sharing.

Forestry Chief Denies Accusations
Phnom Penh Central Forestry Administration Director Chanthet Thannarak yesterday defended himself against an anonymous complaint filed with the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) containing four allegations of corruption and abuse of power.

In a clarification letter sent by Mr. Thannarak to the ACU yesterday, he denied any involvement in the allegations.

The ACU announcement, dated November 23 but only made public yesterday, stated that Mr. Thannarak had been accused of four cases of abuse of his position, including stealing billions of riel in staff bonuses, pocketing payments for timber processing permits worth $2,500 each, protecting timber trucks transporting illegal wood and not properly assigning officials to investigate forestry crimes.

Contrary to allegations that he had pocketed $2,500 for each issuance of timber depots and factories, Mr. Thannarak wrote that the permit price had been set at $250 each by the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the allegation was therefore impossible.

In 2015, Transparency International Cambodia listed the country as one of the most corrupt among 168 surveyed, noting that corruption was hindering economic development, caused poverty and threatened social and political stability.

In April, Prime Minister HE ordered the arrest of “inefficient” public servants, who he identified as likely not being members of the ruling CPP, as they were bringing the government into disrepute. ... cusations/
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