Karen State Govt Secretary Detained for Alleged Corruption

By Htet Naing Zaw 17 July 2017

NAYPYITAW — Secretary of the Karen State government U Pyone Cho was detained by the Myanmar Anti-Corruption Commission on Sunday, Karen State’s Mon ethnic affairs minister U Min Tin Win told The Irrawaddy.

“He has been in this position for only three months. While we are praising him as an active officer, he is detained. We don’t know details. He is not here now, but was taken [by the anti-corruption commission],” U Min Tin Win said.

U Pyone Cho served at within the home affairs ministry for a number of years, and then as the secretary of Chin State before being appointed as the secretary of Karen State.

According to government spokesperson U Zaw Htay, U Pyone Cho was allegedly involved in corruption concerning the sale of a land plot in Yangon worth an estimated 100 million kyats while he was serving as the deputy permanent secretary of the home affairs ministry under Gen Ko Ko in 2015.

U Pyone Cho allegedly accepted two vehicles in the incident, he said.

The case was reported to the Ministry of Home Affairs, which transferred the case to the Anti-Corruption Commission, as the ministry’s officials were involved in the case. The commission then launched an investigation, detaining U Pyone Cho, a police lieutenant colonel, a deputy director and a staff officer of the ministry, as well as two others who were granted general power by the landowner in question.

“We are focusing our efforts on fighting corruption, but some cases are found to be just scandals when we launch an investigation. We need strong evidence and those who are suspected [of taking bribes] also will have to defend themselves in line with the law,” said U Zaw Htay, who is also the director-general of the President’s Office.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko