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RCAF forced to declare assets

Cambodia’s OPERETTA generals, good at barking, human rights violations and corruptions (Photo: The Phnom Penh Post)

Defence Minister Tea Banh has
announced that high-ranking officials in the Royal Cambodian Armed
Forces will be required to submit asset declarations to the
government’s Anticorruption Unit next month.
“We can’t now say how many members of the RCAF will be required to make an asset declaration, but individual military officials who were appointed by royal decree and subdecree will be required to declare their assets,” Tea Banh said at an annual military review at the Royal Cambodian Navy headquarters on Tuesday.
Under new anticorruption
legislation passed in March, senior officials will be required to
declare their personal assets by February 28, part of a bid to fight
endemic levels of graft.

Nhem Ponharith, spokesman for
the Human Rights Party, said that unofficial estimates indicate there
are about 1,000 high-ranking officials in the RCAF.
“We have never received an official number of appointed generals in the Ministry of Defence,” he said.
A senior military official, who declined to be named, also put the number of colonels and generals at about 1,000.
Sar Sambath, a permanent member
of the ACU, said today that the unit had increased the estimated number
of senior government officials required to submit asset declarations
from 100,000 to about 150,000.
“Our proceedings of asset
declarations are going smoothly and our teams are working hard to
ensure that the asset declaration package is managed safely and
properly,” he said.
“The ACU continues to conduct workshops with government ministries about the anticorruption law.”
On Tuesday, Tea Banh also
appealed to senior RCAF officials to abstain from illegal activities
such as human and drug trafficking.
“The RCAF has to get away from corruption,” he said.
The comments were made after
the arrests last week of Moek Dara, the former secretary general of the
National Authority for Combating Drugs, and Chea Leng, former chief of
the anti-drug office at the Ministry of Interior.
The pair were implicated by
former Banteay Meanchey provincial police chief Hun Hean and his
deputy, Chheang Sun, who were arrested earlier last week.
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