A probe was launched on Monday into the excessive wealth of the sacked commander of the Ratanakkiri provincial Military Police, Kim Reaksmey, despite no official complaint having been filed as yet, Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) president Om Yentieng said.
“Using our own authority and information available from other sources as the basis for the investigation, the ACU will work quickly to resolve the case of Kim Reaksmey."
“Upon securing some information, we decided to set up a meeting to review whether or not the investigation should proceed,” said Yentieng.
King Norodom Sihamoni on Saturday issued a royal decree, ordering the removal of Reaksmey from the framework of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), where he served as a general.
Government officials have so far not provided a clear explanation for Reaksmey’s sacking.
However, the probe comes following a video clip which was posted on Facebook of Reaksmey purportedly giving $100,000 to each of his five children at his birthday party.
Afterwards, photographs emerged on the social media platform showing a large house – allegedly belonging to Reaksmey – built with luxury timber, prompting the public to question the source of his wealth and whether he might have benefited from major forestry crimes in the province.
Previously, two NGOs said they intended to file a complaint to the ACU and the Kratie provincial court calling for a probe into Reaksmey’s wealth.
‘Illegal timber hauling’
Pen Bunna, the senior land and natural resources investigator for rights group Adhoc, and Victory Intelligent Standard Association director Ros Sarom on Sunday said Reaksmey’s wealth had been shown to come from the smuggling of luxury timber to Vietnam.
“Looking at the destruction of forest in Ratanakkiri province and the flaunting of his excessive wealth, we suspect that [Reaksmey] was indeed supporting illegal timber hauling activities into Vietnam."
“The complaint against Kim Reaksmey will be filed to Ratanakkiri provincial court before February 25 and will include evidence – documents and pictures – showing timber they hauled from Ratanakkiri province to Vietnam,” Bunna said.
Sarom echoed similar remarks to Bunna’s, saying: “We will continue monitoring ACU’s investigation and will be ready to file a complaint if we believe the unit is delaying the probe or achieving no result at all.”
The Post could not reach Reaksmey for comment on Sunday, and a woman answering the phone who claimed to be his wife declined to comment.