RANGOON – Border police have detained three women for the alleged possession of ammunition and three improvised guns on Friday morning in Arakan State’s Maungdaw Township, said southern Maungdaw border policeman Lt-Col Thant Zin Oo.
He told The Irrawaddy that the police had received a tip-off that led them to search four houses in Tha Win Chaung village early in the morning, including that of the a former village administrator. They reportedly discovered the weaponry under a pile of firewood at a house belonging to another resident named Mahmoud Shalby, along with a payslip stating that Shalby had made payments to 25 individuals.
Police are tracking the names on the payslip as part of an investigation into coordinated attacks by militants last October on police outposts in the region, in which nine policemen were killed and ammunition was looted.
Lt-Col Thant Zin Oo said that eight rubber bullets and seven rounds of assault rifle ammunition recovered in Tha Win Chaung match those stolen from the Koe Tan Kauk border police outpost in nearby Rathedaung Township, which was among those targeted in October.
Mahmoud Shalby was not home at the time of the search; his wife was taken in to custody, according to the police report. The wives of two of the men whose homes were searched—but at which no weaponry was reportedly uncovered—are also currently being detained.
At the time of reporting, police had not revealed the names of the detained women.