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Myanmar’s Armed Forces Treat Extortion from Rohingyas as Legal Business


Maungdaw, Arakan State (Rohingya Vision) — Myanmar’s armed forces in different parts of Arakan especially Maungdaw and Buthidaung Townships have been increasingly and obviously extorting money from Rohingyas considering it as a means to earn money, according to the local Rohingyas.

It has been learnt that the lower authority has to submit some shares of the money extorted from the innocent Rohingyas to the higher officials.

“Military Security Intelligence known as SaYaPha (စရဖ) and some military personnel arbitrarily arrested an innocent Rohingya in Kyeing Chaung (also called Bawli Bazaar) last Thursday morning as he was going to open his shop in the village’s market. The victim is Izhar Hussein (son of) Abul Nasir from the same village.

The blatant accusation against him was that he has a son working in Malaysia. The group included Captain of the SaYaPha Detachment (တပ္ဆြယ္မွဴး) and his subordinate based in Kyeing Chaung village; and a Lieutenant Army, the subordinate officer of the Tactical Operation Commander (ဗ်ဴဟာမွဴး) and two other sub-lieutenant military based in Taung Pyo sub-township.

They tortured him and released him having extorted Kyat 150,000 around 4:00PM of the day” said an eyewitness declining to be named.

“We have to give some shares of the money we get from you, *Kulars, to the Commander of our Corps in Buthidaung. Similarly, we give some shares to the tactical operation commander in Taung Pyo sub-township and also to some regiment commanders.

So, we do it with their permission and will keep doing it. It’s like our business” the witness continued narrating what the authority said to the people.

“Similarly, the above-mentioned authority broke into the resident of Rahimullah (son of) Amanullah in the same village and arrested him arbitrarily. For his release, they extorted Kyat 300,000 from him” added.

Other recent money extortions by the authority have been reported as following.

“Some Border Guard Police (BGP) from Gawdusara Bridge post, disguised as Islamic Religious Scholars, arrested Abdur Rashid (son of) Khalu, 45, in Gawdusara village as he was his way back home after prayer around 2:00PM on December 12. They extorted Kyat 50,000 and released him around 5:00PM of the day.”

“Some BGP personnel entered from Paung Zarr camp raided nearby village ‘Paung Zarr’ around 11:00AM on December 11. There in the villag, the BGP arbitrarily arrested a Rohingya shopkeeper named Anwar Hussein (son of) Haabi, 22, on the pretext of possession of Bangala phones. The police tortured him and released him after an extortion of money around Kyat 300,000.”

*Kulars= derogatory term used against descends of Indians in Myanmar. Most of the Muslims in Myanmar are of Indian descends.

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