Monday, 25 May 2020

Maungdaw, Arakan State: The Burmese military junta officers posted in Northern Arakan (Maungdaw and Buthidaung) are using new methods to earn money from the people, said a school teacher from Maungdaw.  


Senior officers in Maungdaw and Buthidaung are resorting to various means to earn extra money, especially from the Rohingya community, said sources from Maungdaw.


The Burmese military junta has restricted movement of the Rohingya community and is pursuing religious persecution, putting obstacles in the way of education, earnings and marriages. Such restrictions open up avenues for officers to earn money.


The officers during the period of duty set up groups who help them earn money from civilians. The groups are called informers of officers or sector.


These informers give false information to the officers or the sector about a person who may not be toeing their line, harass them and extort money, said a victim.


"Sometimes, the officers compromise businessmen to pay up. For instance they called me, Jafor Ahmed (40) Nawair Ahmed (35) and Bashir Ahmed (38) to the Nasaka, Burma's border security sector number 4 on October 21. Here officer, Major Kyi Hlaing detained us for a day and demand 1.2 million Kyats on the allegation that we smuggle rice to Bangladesh. We always pay monthly for carrying goods from Bangladesh and taking it from Burma which is not rice,' said Anwar, a smuggler from Kyauk Chaung village in Maungdaw.


Recently, the commander officer of Tactical Operations Command (TOC) in Buthidaung told informers that he will give permission to those who wish to use Bangladesh mobile in the area, but they had to pay 2.1 millions Kyats per year where the commander will provide one mobile set with a Bangladesh mobile network and security of no harassment from other department, said a closed aide of TOC.


Major Than Htun, the commander of Nasaka sector number 6, is taking one hundred thousand Kyats per Bangladesh mobile per year in his area, where he has given 300 mobile phones controlled by his informers, said a trader from Maungdaw.


The commander gives his informers facilities like a mobile, to collect information for him. This informers end up giving false information about Bangladeshi network mobile phones. Each catch of a mobile phone holder fetches them more than 1.5 million Kayat. Detentions and tortures yield anything between 0.6 million Kyats to one hundred thousand Kyats, said Kassein who didn't know how to use mobile phone from Min Galah Gyi.


Win Than, an officer of the Sarapa (Military Intelligent) of sector 6, also organized some informers to work for him to earn money.  His informers are harassing people with allegations of smuggling of Yaba tablets, human trafficking, going to Bangladesh for smuggling. The officer demands one hundred thousand to five hundred thousand Kyats from innocent persons, said Nur Alam.


Some informers with officers from the Nasaka outpost of Poung Zarr( Ashika Para) always harass fishermen fishing in the Naf River, looting their fish and belongings, said a fisherman from Shweza. The informers are- Aayas, Syed Ahmed and Abul Fayas, he added.


These informers have ferry boat business in the Naf River with a nexus with the authorities of Poung Zarr, carrying wine, rice, timber and other goods in demand to Bangladesh and bring back to Burma edible oil, fuel, Marrizona (Ganzaa), medicine and other goods, he added.


Some of informers who are helping the officer and harassing the people are:- Nurul Isalam, Bashir and Dil Mohamed  from Kyauk Pyin Seik (Nari Bil)village;   Aung Ko lett, Tin Shwe and Mohamed Alam from Hla Poe Khung (Sorfordin Bil);  Seriz, Nur Alam and Omar from Thet Kai Pyin ( Noundah Khali); Shabir, Kyaw Naing and Rashid from Zin paing Nyar; Abdul Razak, Moulana Haroon from Kyauk Hlai Khar ( Dar Gua Dil); Tin Htun, Maung Maung Tin, Aabas, Rahamadullah and Mohaned Illiyas from Min Galah Gyi ; Pir Ahmed from Labawza ( Hlabawzarr);Aayas, Ismail, Seyed Ahmed from poungZarr; Shawfiq Ullah ( Mobile) from Shweza village.


The informers are harassing people in their village and making money with the support of officers. One informer Maung Myint from Alel Than Kyaw Ka Nyin Tan (Go Zon Dia), became the richest man in the area of Alel Than Kyaw Nasaka sector number 7 with the help of the authorities. He collects butcher tax, tax from cattle traders, smuggling rice and takes money from people on false information, said a student from Alel Than Kyaw.


On other hand, Major Thurin Zaw, of the Nasaka sector number 7, arrested his own informers and sent them to the jail for harassing people on October 4, when villagers become angry and demanded punishment, said a village official.


The authorities whenever they see that it is harmful to their position treat their informers differently as they would do with others of the Rohingya community. The officers forget the help the informer gave and how much they earned through the informers, he added.