Burma

Lawsuit Against Yangon Water Bus to Move Ahead, Fuel Bills Still Unpaid

By Aung Thiha 6 March 2020

YANGON—Petro & Trans Group of Companies has said it will still sue Tint Tint Myanmar Co., the operator of the Yangon Water Bus service, despite the operator’s efforts to pay back over 77 million kyats (US$55,700) of unpaid bills for fuel purchases.

In a statement released Thursday, Tint Tint Myanmar Co. said the operator went to the office of Petro & Trans Co to pay the bills in cash but the fuel company could not show the original invoices so the operator did not pay the bills.

Petro & Trans has said it is likely to bring legal proceedings against Tint Tint Myanmar Co. next week.

Between Sept. 4 and Dec. 9, 2018, Tint Tint Myanmar Co. reportedly bought over 77 million kyats worth of fuel for its water buses on credit. Company chairwoman Daw Tint Tint Lwin reportedly signed an agreement that her company would pay the amount in full by Aug. 15, 2019, but according to Petro & Trans lawyer U Than Tun, the company did not.

Petro & Trans announced in state-run newspapers on Feb. 15 that it would take legal action against Tint Tint Myanmar Co. The operator then told Petro & Trans it would pay the bills in full on Tuesday, later adding that they would make the payments in instalments.

But according to U Than Tun, Tint the operator’s announcement came three days after a deadline set by Petro & Trans and the company never agreed to the operator’s terms.

“We don’t want to be paid that way. We want the payment in full,” said U Than Tun. “They have given promises time and again to pay the bills. They want to give it in five or six installments.”

The Yangon Water Bus service was launched on Oct. 7, 2017 in order to ease traffic congestion in the commercial capital offer a more modern, comfortable alternative to the city’s regular ferry service. It began operating between Botahtaung and Insein townships and later added weekly river cruises and boat tours to its services.

In September last year, the operator announced a temporary suspension of its operations, reportedly in order to improve its services and introduce a card payment system. It has not made any further announcement since then.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.

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