Myanmar Regime Announces Fresh Corruption Case Against Daw Aung San Suu Kyi

By The Irrawaddy 18 March 2021

Myanmar’s military regime is launching a second corruption probe against the country’s ousted leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, accusing her of accepting more than US$500,000 (704.79 million kyats) from a local businessman.

Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has been detained by the military regime since the Feb. 1 coup. Since then, anti-regime protests have erupted across the country, calling for the release of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and others arrested by the junta.

The latest accusation follows last week’s allegation by the regime that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi accepted $600,000 and more than 11.43 kg of gold from detained Yangon Region Chief Minister U Phyo Min Thein between December 2017 and March 2018.

On Wednesday, the military and state-owned television channels announced that U Maung Waik, the owner of local developer Say Paing Company, gave the State Counselor a total of $550,000 from 2018 to 2020.

If found guilty on both counts, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, 75, would face combined prison terms of 30 years—meaning she would spend the rest of her life behind bars.

In a video clip aired on the military-owned Myawaddy Channel, the businessman said he gave the money to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on four separate occasions.

“There were no witnesses in those cases,” U Maung Waik said in the video.

However, he stated there were two people present when he first gave her a separate $1,000,000 in a paper bag in 2018. At that meeting it was stated that the money was for the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation, a charity founded by Daw Aung Suu Kyi in memory of her late mother.

Apart from the alleged corruption probes, the junta has filed  four charges against the State Counselor since early last month ranging from incitement to using a walkie-talkie without a license to breaching COVID-19 restrictions. The charges carry a total of nine years’ imprisonment upon conviction.

Probes into Daw Khin Kyi Foundation’s finances

The military regime launched an investigation into the finances of the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation last month. The move has raised fears that it could be a pretext to file more charges against the country’s de facto leader.

On Wednesday, the junta announced via the Myawaddy Channel that from January 2013 to January 2021 over $7.9 million flowed into the foundation’s three foreign currency accounts, including donations from foreign NGOs, INGOs and companies from the UK, China, the US, Japan and elsewhere.

During that period, a total of over 36.7 billion kyats donated by 51 donors at home and abroad flowed into the foundation’s 13 Myanmar currency accounts. Of that amount, over 30.6 billion kyats were withdrawn, and over 6.04 billion kyats remain deposited.

The junta also claimed that the foundation’s use of the money deviated from its stated objectives.

“Further extensive investigations are being conducted into the Daw Khin Kyi Foundation’s cash flow, expenditure and savings,” the statement said.

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