One Customs Officer from Nasaka Detained in Rangoon

Narinjara News

Burmese military authorities arrested and harshly sentenced several customs officials to long prison terms recently in Rangoon. Among the convicted men is one customs official from the western border security force, Nasaka - a combined force consisting of the army, immigration, police, and customs.

Customs official Myo Myint, who was in charge of the customs office opened in Rangoon to collect tax from traders in the Rangoon-Maungdaw business sector, was arrested by authorities in late November.

An official from the Maungdaw Township Customs Department says he has been detained in Rangoon since then and investigated by the Special Investigation Bureau, or SaThoneLone, for his involvement in corruption.

Following the arrest of the customs official, other customs officers in Maungdaw Township are trying to forge good relationships with the Military Intelligence in the area, since they are also worried about their fate, says the same custom officer.

The same officer says he believes that the latest drive against the corruption of the customs department, while those officials in the military, including military intelligence, are getting extremely rich from corruption, is to save face in the international community.

Since the junta launched an anti-corruption drive in May 2006, more than five dozen customs officials have been sentenced to jail terms ranging from 14 to 66 years after closed trials.