Myanmar Regime’s Witness Against Suu Kyi Spared Corruption Charges

By The Irrawaddy 30 May 2022

Myanmar’s regime last week filed corruption cases against several figures in the ousted Yangon regional National League for Democracy (NLD) government but spared the then chief minister U Phyo Min Thein, who testified against State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

The regime opened cases against former Yangon agriculture, livestock, forestry and energy minister U Han Tun and mayor U Maung Maung Soe under Article 55 of the Anti-Corruption Law for abuse of power and former deputy mayor U Soe Lwin, Yangon City Development Committee secretary Daw Hlaing Maw Oo and joint secretary U Than under Articles 55 and 63 for abuse of power and aiding and abetting corruption.

The majority of cases relate to Yangon Petrol (YP) Co’s acquisition of land from U Phyo Min Thein’s regional government. In 2019, the company established a chain of filling stations in Yangon as part of U Phyo Min Thein’s plan to bring down fuel prices. The regional government reportedly granted plots for rents below the market rates and YP was expected to sell fuel at competitive prices.

The regime’s Anti-Corruption Commission report did not mention YP which ran in partnership with the regional government.

But the regime has also detained and charged U Zin Min Aung, the major YP shareholder, under the corruption law.

The commission reported that the regional government allowed 63 acres in Dagon Township to be registered under the ownership of a YP director. The director, however, sold the land to a private company for 6.5 billion kyats, it said.

The regime has charged almost all the Yangon ministers with alleged corruption, apart from U Phyo Min Thein, who testified that he gave seven viss (around 11.4kg) of gold and US$600,000 to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Based on his testimony, the regime sentenced her to five years in prison last month.

There was no other evidence apart from U Phyo Min Thein’s allegations.

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