Maungdaw, Arakan State: Security and municipal authorities are looting from Rohingya businessmen in Maungdaw, according to a businessman from Maungdaw.

An officer from the Military Intelligence camp of Taungbro under Maungdaw has been looting from a food and grocery shop located on the jetty of Taungbro, the businessman said.

“The officer is a sergeant from the Dyina community, and he is always eating in the restaurant, morning and evening. He also takes cigarettes and betel leaves from the grocery without paying.”

The shop owner, Abuya, a Rohingya, hails from Taungbro. “When the owner asked for payment for foods and other items that the officer took from his shop, the officer had Abuya beaten severely and kept in the camp,” the businessman added.

“Abuya was released after one day with a bond that mentions he will never ask payment for food or grocery items.”

Similarly, the Maungdaw municipal officers collected fees from vendors selling on the roadside market near the Clock Towner junction where most of the vendors are from the Rohingya community. However, the municipal officers allow vendors near the Maungdaw Municipal market without any charge. The vendors there are mostly Rakhine, said a vendor from the market.

“The municipal officers asked Rohingyas to pay 15,000 kyat for the right to sell on the roadside. Otherwise, the officers would not allow them to sell for the reason that there are school children passing near the market.”

“The busiest area is the municipal market area where most people come with buses, tri-rickshaws, and other types of transportation. All of the rural area people also meet in this area. But the officers allow the vendors to sell on the roadside.”

Sub-Inspector Htun Aung (Drugs) looted 16,000 kyat from Salay Ahmed, a vendor who sells fruit at the Clock Towner junction roadside, without any reason on January 1 at about 3:00 pm, said an elder from the area.

The Rohingya community in northern Arakan State is struggling for their survival under the most intense pressure from all branches of authorities in the area. They are living with fear that the authorities will come and arrest them with false allegations at any time, the elder added.