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Four Traffic Officers Demoted and Suspended for 3 Months Due to Illegal Fining

PHNOM PENH: Four traffic officers stationed at the Tonle Bassac traffic light on Mao Tse Tong Boulevard have been demoted and suspended from their jobs for three months by the Phnom Penh Police Commissariat for fining drivers without fault and for failing to issue tickets. These traffic officers have been suspended also as a warning against this type of behavior from other officers.

The suspension came after a video clip circulated online showing four traffic officers stopping a car and ordering the driver to pay a fine without being at fault.

According to the Phnom Penh Municipal Police, after they gained knowledge of the video clip, the four traffic officers were summoned to the office for questioning, where they confessed and admitted to their wrongdoings.

The Phnom Penh Municipal Police confirmed that "With the order and approval of His Excellency the Disciplinary Commissioner of the Office of Personnel, it was decided that these four officers will be suspended for three months [from working on the road and] from appearing at the staff office.... Officials who make such mistakes are demoted to a lower level as a warning against this type of behavior."

The incident that brought this traffic police misdemeanor to light occurred on 21 October 2022 at around 09:15 am near the Tonle Bassac traffic light along Mao Tse Tong Boulevard. The four traffic police stationed there illegal fined a silver ISUZU even though the driver had not violated any traffic laws and was driving in the green light with video evidence.

The next day, on the morning of 22 October 2022, a voice message was leaked wherein Lieutenant Colonel Prum Chandara, using Lieutenant Thach Bunthoeun’s Facebook account, sent a message to the wrongly-fined car owner requesting them to delete the video posted on social media along with a cash transfer of the amount fined, however, the car owner refused to do so.

Previously, on 15 October 2022, authorities also summoned a traffic officer who had used inappropriate words and gestures towards citizens on the road, in order re-educate, discipline, and suspend this officer from their post.

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