5 Water Resources Officials Face Corruption Charges

By San Yamin Aung 11 April 2019

YANGON—Five senior government officials from the Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems (DWIR) have been sued under the Anti-Corruption Law for allegedly misusing more than 537 million kyats (about US$355,000) of public funds since 2014.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) said in a statement on Wednesday that it has opened cases against DWIR director-general U Htun Lwin Oo, now retired deputy director-general U Ko Ko Oo, who is still serving at the directorate as an adviser, his successor U Thaung Lwin, and two directors, U Aung Kyaw Hmu and U Tun Naing Win. DWIR is under the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

The commission said it conducted an investigation after receiving a complaint against them and found that the five misused 238 million kyats in 2014, 89 million kyats in 2015, 129.5 million kyats in 2017 and 81 million kyats in 2018 from funds allocated to sub-offices.

All five have been sued under Article 56 of the Anti-Corruption Law, which carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence for political officeholders found guilty of corruption.

In early April, the commission sued the managing director of the government’s mining enterprise under the same charge, and the managing director and two employees of gold mining firm National Prosperity Gold Production Group Co. Ltd under Article 59 for making a false bribery claim. The latter charge carries a maximum sentence of three years’ imprisonment and a fine.