Burma Refuses to Accept Lieutenant Arrested in Bangladesh

Dhaka: Burma’s border security force, Nasaka, has refused to accept a Burmese lieutenant who was arrested by Border Guards Bangladesh last week when he trespassed into Bangladesh territory, said a reliable intelligence source.

The arrested Burmese lieutenant was identified as Than Maung Hla, who claims he is a lieutenant from Military Engineer Battalion 58 stationed in northern Maungdaw Township near Taungbro, opposite Bangladesh’s Gaungdon.

According to the source, Bangladesh border guards informed officials from Nasaka soon after the man was arrested, but Nasaka refused to accept him and claimed he was not a Burmese army officer.

The Burmese soldier was arrested by a team of Border Guard Bangladesh led by Mozamal Haque, an officer stationed on the border, around 6 pm on 18 March, when the lieutenant entered into the Naikongchari area in southeastern Bangladesh, according to local media reports.

Bangladesh authorities have detained and questioned the Burmese army officer since his arrest.

Bangladesh officials also informed Burmese officials at the embassy in Dhaka of the arrest, but there have been no replies regarding the situation, said the source.

Burma typically agrees to take back its soldiers whenever they have been arrested in Bangladesh in the past.

Bangladesh authorities would like to hand over the claimed lieutenant to Burmese Nasaka officials at the next flag meeting, but Nasaka is unwilling to hold a flag meeting regarding the matter.

The lieutenant was arrested while the two countries are closely watching their land borders, after verdict in their maritime boundary dispute was announced.