Villagers’ charcoals confiscated for Nasaka officer’s forthcoming water festival expenses

Maung Aye

Buthidaung: A corporal of the Burmese border security force Nasaka that is deployed on the western border in Arakan State confiscated numerous bags of charcoal from the local villagers, allegedly for his officer for necessary expenses in the coming new year water festival.

The corporal Thein Htoo is said to have confiscated the bags of charcoals from the villagers claiming they were illegal goods after he was ordered by Captain San Yu Aung, who is in charge of the station in Nyaungchaung under Nasaka Area No. 9 in southern Buthidaung in order to find 10 lakh kyat for his personal expenses in the water festival.

“The bags of charcoal that were collected by the villagers of Doetan and Pharonchaung Villages were confiscated— 160 bags from U Kyaw Sein, 350 bags from U Aung Naing Oo and 110 bags from Daw Than Ma Chay— by Corporal Thein Htoo after coming to the villages in civilian clothing without informing even the administrators of the villages”, said a local village elder.

The villagers are said to have collected the charcoal to sell in the urban markets during the rainy season when charcoal is getting scarce, after paying a monthly toll of 20,000 kyat to the Nasaka station to trade.

The village elder said when the Nasaka corporal was asked why he was confiscating the charcoal for which the villagers had already paid a monthly toll, he answered that he had to confiscate the charcoal to make 10 lakh kyat for the captain for his water festival expenses.

One of the village administrators also confirmed that the charcoal was confiscated by the Nasaka personnel from their villages, but he said he did not know the purpose of the confiscation.

A resident from Nyaungchaung also said the confiscated charcoal was already sold to a trader from Buthidaung adding that the Nasaka forces used to make money in various ways for their families whenever this kind of seasonal festival is approaching, generally extorting the local villagers in area.

A bag of charcoal is currently sold at 850 kyat, 1,100 Kyat and 1,200 kyat depending on the quality in the markets in the area.

According to the source from Nyaungchaung Nasaka Station, Corporal Thein Htoo who confiscated the charcoal from the villagers bears the personal identification number of Kye Ka-Pa 705714 and Captain San Yu Aung bears the number of Kye Ka-Pa 43870.

According to the local villagers, it has been nearly 4 years that Corporal Thein Htoo has been extorting them, bribing and flattering his senior officers in the station.