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Are Police Officers in Maungdaw Licensed for Money Extortion from Rohingyas?

By Sindhi Khan | Maungdaw, Arakan State

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Police members of anti-Crime Squad such as Inspector Incharge Thaung Tun, Sergeant Hla Myint and Corporal Maung Chay @Than Tun some of the longest serving police officers in Maungdaw Police Station. Besides, they have become the richest police officers in town through money extortion from local Rohingyas.

Though illegal activities such as abuse of power and money extortion have been reported and mentioned in media various times, they remain untransferred from the station, retained their same ranks and posts, no any other sorts of action have been taken against them. According to a police officer in the station, they have been able to escape legal actions because they have contacts with the higher officers and regularly bribe them to escape actions.

These police officers have recently stepped up extorting money from Rohingyas saying “there is a complaint against you. You are involved in illegal business. You are economically successful. So, you have to give us money.” Yet, when some people refuse to give them money, they retort “we are legal dacoits licensed by the central government of Myanmar. You can escape nowhere without giving us money.”

Some of Rohingyas from whom money has been extorted are:

1) U Ayaz (son of) U Haabi (age 35)

2) U Iliyaz (age 35), Kyat 30,000, from the village of Shujah

3) U Maung Ni (son of) U Gaffar, Age (50), Kyat 10,000 and Free Goods from his food grocery, from Quarter 2 of Maugdaw

4) Zahir Ahmed (son of) Rashid, Age (45), Kyat 20,000 monthly, from Quarter 2 of Maungdaw.

And the above-mentioned police officers have to share one-third of the extortion money to the district police chief, U Shwe Thein. That’s why people feel they are able to escape punishments.

Maungdaw Central Msoque