PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA —
Two City Hall officials were on Wednesday arrested on corruption charges after evidence was uncovered leading to allegations that they had misappropriated public funds.
The duo - Roth Borey, who ran the investment office for the local city planning body, and May Vannarom, an official in the same office - were sent to court by the Anti-Corruption Unit, according to court spokesman Ly Sophanna.
Sophanna added that they were charged with misappropriation of public funds and sent to pre-trial detention.
Om Yentieng, head of the anti-corruption body, could not be reached.
Mean Chanyada, a City Hall spokesman, said he had no further details about the case, but said it was an isolated case that would not impact on the functioning of the local government.
Preap Kol, executive director of Transparency International Cambodia, said while it was a good thing that the courts were pursuing corruption charges against officials where wrongdoing was evident, the implementation of the law was not yet up to scratch.
“They need to strengthen the law implementation and they should reduce tolerance [of corruption], because in their strategic plan it says ‘zero tolerance’. However, we can see there has been a lot of tolerance,” he said.
In its annual Corruption Perceptions Index report, released in January, Transparency International ranked Cambodia as the most corrupt country in Southeast Asia, and coming in 156th place out of 176 countries surveyed.