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AP-Myanmar General Destroy Country
- Subject: AP-Myanmar General Destroy Country
- From: tinkyi@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Thu, 24 Jun 1999 22:18:00
Myanmar General Defends Country
Wednesday, June 23, 1999; 5:30 a.m. EDT
YANGON, Myanmar (AP) -- Contrary to reports, money laundering and
trafficking in women do not exist in Myanmar, the military government's
intelligence chief insisted Wednesday.
Gen. Khin Nyunt made the comments at the opening of the second annual
Association of Southeast Asian Nations Ministerial Meeting on Transnational
``There are stringent regulations against money laundering and, therefore,
allegations against Myanmar of such practices are completely without
basis,'' he said.
Khin Nyunt, nonetheless, conceded that money laundering and trafficking of
women, drugs and arms were threats to regional stability and urged the
10-member group to come up with measures to combat illegal activities.
ASEAN consists of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the
Philippines, Thailand, Singapore and Vietnam. Myanmar, which is also known
as Burma, has been ruled by the military since 1962.
International law enforcement agencies have been skeptical of Khin Nyunt's
Myanmar is the world's largest producer of opium, the raw material for
heroin. Many opium warlords led ethnic insurgencies against the government.
In order to end them, the government has negotiated cease-fire deals with
the warlords and their armies.
Critics have charged that the deals allow the warlords to invest their drug
money in businesses in Yangon and around the country, and perhaps even
continue drug trafficking.
Khin Nyunt said since 1993, the government has seized more than $274,000 in
financial assets and property from drug dealers.
He also said allegations that Myanmar is involved in the trafficking of
women are false ``and have been spread by malicious elements. We consider
such trafficking a heinous crime and have brought the full force of the law
to prevent it.''
Women from Myanmar have been found in Thai brothels in increasingly large
numbers in recent years, according to women's groups and Thai officials.
The Thai-Myanmar border is porous and smuggling of all varieties of
contraband is common.