Fraud in a Cambodian NGO supported by Siemenpuu

21 Jan 2015

There has been a fraud case in the Cambodian NGO, 3S Rivers Protection Network (3SPN, www.3spn.org)

Siemenpuu Foundation has supported the project ”3S Community Hydropower Advocacy, Dialogue and Community Development Project” in 2012-2013 together with several other donors (Oxfam Novib, Oxfam Australia, American Jewish World Service, McKnight Foundation, Save Cambodia Wildlife). Siemenpuu’s share of the project funding was 36 000 €. The fraud was discovered during 2014.

Siemenpuu and other 3SPN donors will arrange a special TOR audit on 3SPN accounts to find out the exact amount of embezzled funds and other possible financial irregularities. It is expected that the TOR audit will be carried out before April 2015.

Also, together with other donors, Siemenpuu will support 3SPN’s actions to find a legal solution in the fraud case and to develop the financial systems of the organisation. 3SPN has already hired a law firm, and a lawsuit against the fraud suspect has been issued.

All donors have been very satisfied with 3SPN’s work to support and empower the local indigenous communities. Communities in Ratanakiri and Stung Treng provinces have been able to raise the negative environmental and livelihood impacts of the planned dams to public discussion and to decision-making level.

As Siemenpuu Foundation receives its project funding from the Finnish ODA funds (support for civil society), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has been informed on the fraud case. In Siemenpuu, the case is being followed by Programme Coordinator Timo Kuronen.

 

31 Oct 2016

Based on the results of the special TOR audit, Siemenpuu on 20 May 2015 began the recovery of embezzled funds from 3SPN. After the additional information given by 3SPN and the decision made by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Siemenpuu Board on 14 September 2016 made a decision to reduce the pay-back amount from 3SPN. 3SPN returned that amout to Siemenpuu on 31 October 2016. 3SPN will continue following the delayed court process against the fraud suspect.