Narinjara news


Sittwe, 5 April 02:
A consignment of home electronics appliances to Sittwe, the capital of Arakan (Rakhine State) in the western part of Burma, was illegally confiscated at the Nasaka security checkpoint No. 25 at Ann, in the western foothills of the Arakan Romas, according to our correspondent from Sittwe.

On March 25th, a lorry-load of electronic home appliances including 7 sets of 21 inch Toshiba and Sony colour TVs, 5 numbers of VCD players, 2,500 video CDs were confiscated at the gate.

The electronic equipments were carried in a lorry driven by U Khaing Zaw (41), son of U Thein. The owner of the goods, U Thain Maung, loaded the electronic goods at the Bayinnaung Aye Nyein Chantha bus stand at Rangoon, to be delivered at the Sittwe goods terminal in Arakan State.

When the lorry-load of equipments came to the Nasaka Gate 25 at Ann, the guards demanded Kyat 20,000 as illegal tolls from the lorry driver who declined to pay as he had no money to pay. The guards sent the guard back to Rangoon after illegally confiscating the truck-load of goods.

At the Sittwe goods terminal many of the truck-owners and drivers said to our correspondent that, all the vehicles passing the Ann Checkpoint 25 have to pay illegal tolls to the Nasaka Burmese security guards posted there.

Though the Ann -Minbu -Taunggup Road has facilitated the inland transportation between Arakan State and Burma Proper, the illegal toll collection even from vegetable-carrying trucks and fish vans have raised concern among the business community, which has raised many questions about the viability of the route in the long run. Sometimes it is not unusual for detaining vehicles there for long hours in the name of security clearance causing unnecessary harassment to the passengers and drivers.

Interestingly enough the gate has also become notorious for turning down the right of entry of foreigners travelling from Burma Proper into Arakan State though they carry passports and legal visas of the Government of Burma, the SPDC junta. Worst of all, the passengers and drivers even after complaining to the proper higher authority nearby have never received any action against the perpetrators. A number of the drivers available at the Sittwe goods terminal said that, the high-level Nasaka and other law enforcement officials at Ann under the Western Command also have shares of what they termed as the “open robbery by the Burmese security personnel” at the Nasaka gate 25. #

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