So-called Custom Gates mushrooming across Arakan
Akyab, June 4: Arakan is experiencing a boom in the numbers of illegal tollgates run by the local authorities.
These gates are run by police, armed forces, immigration officers, and Na Sa Kha (Border Security). However, all of these gates are under the management of Township Peace and Development Council, the local level junta.
Generally, these gates are stationed at the cross roads of
waterways and collect money from the trespassers. In the May-Yu river,
the waterway between Akyab and Buthe
Daung, Rachan Byan, Nga Lat Pyar,
Prean Daw, Naung Khaung have government custom gates to collect money from
all small or big boats that traverse the river.
In upper Lae Myo river, at Mraung Bawe, Forestry and Police have set up a tollgate, the former collects money on timer, bamboo and thatches, while the latter on commodities such as cattle and rice.
According to a farmer of that region, thatches are legally “free” items that can be transported and traded without any restriction, because it is the basic commodities used in many households. However, the Forestry authority still collects money on it.
Four miles from Maung Daw, there is also the Nasaka gate that collects 500 kyats for every rice bag that comes from Buthee Daung. Nasaka (25) gate at Ann is budded as “blackmailing station.” At police stations there are signs saying, “May we help you?” However one must offer them a bribe in order to get anything done there.
The higher authorities turn a blind eye to these corruption and bribery problems, which are taking a “toll” on people’s liberty and well-being.#
For further information, please contact Narinjara:
Phone: 880 189 255 018 (Mobile)