The Irrawaddy

Who is Brig. Gen. Tin Ko Ko?

Brig. Gen. Tin Ko Ko (left).

 

YANGON — On Friday, a police captain and prosecution witness in the case of two detained Reuters journalists testified that Police Brigadier General Tin Ko Ko masterminded a setup to arrest the reporters, Ko Wa Lone and Ko Kyaw Soe Oo.

Here is what we have learned about the brigadier general so far.

Brig. Gen. Tin Ko Ko served as commander of the Border Guard Police (Headquarters) in Rakhine State’s Maungdaw Township. The force was established on March 10, 2014, and took over police stations and outposts previously overseen by the Immigration Department.

The Border Guard Police are responsible for security and law enforcement at the border. Their duties include collecting information, monitoring the border, preventing cross-border crime, counter-terrorism, responding to riots, and cooperating with local military battalions.

They also inherited the duties of the Immigration Department, including immigration control, citizenship registration, monitoring population growth, preventing illegal trade, combatting smugglers, and supervising the taxation of border trade.

The Border Guard Police are also responsible for civilian administration, which covers public welfare, disaster prevention and management, and search and rescue operations. They are also responsible for promoting bilateral ties with neighboring countries in line with international laws and procedures.

Brig. Gen. Tin Ko Ko also headed the No. 1 Security Police Command in Naypyitaw and in October 2017 was transferred to head the No. 2 Security Police Command in Yangon, a position he still holds.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.