The Irrawaddy

Police Bring Five Charges Against Son of Former Sports Minister

Home Affairs Ministry

NAYPYITAW —Police have brought three more charges against U Phyo Ko Ko Tint San, bringing the total number of charges to five.

The son of former sports minister U Tint San has been in detention in Naypyitaw since Sunday for illegal possession of firearms and illicit drugs.

“Dekkhinathiri Police Station has filed three more charges against U Phyo Ko Ko Tint San,” police captain Myint Soe of Dekkhinathiri central police station told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

New charges include Article 67 of the Telecommunications Law for keeping walkie-talkies, Article 8 of the Export/Import Law for keeping drones, and Article 61(a) of the State Secrets Act for unauthorized use of National Security Council (NSC) logos in cars, and possession of bullet-proof jackets and camouflage jackets with SWAT badges similar to those worn by bodyguards of President U Htin Kyaw and State Counselor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi.

Permanent secretary of the home affairs ministry U Tin Myint said an agency with such a badge and uniform did not exist, and that only the Union government could form such an agency.

“There are incumbent officials and staff [of the ministry] who we’ve assigned security duties. And we are investigating to take actions against those who form [unofficial security agencies] themselves and hold guns,” he said.

According to the police investigation, U Phyo Ko Ko Tint San had been planning to establish a security company, but the badges and logos discovered in his property were problematic, said lawyer U Than Zaw Aung.

“Can a private security company use terms like ‘national’ and ‘council’? Normally ‘special force’ is the term used only by an armed organization and there is a need to find out his intention,” he said.
“Various police agencies such as CID [Criminal Investigation Department] and the drug squad, and Naypyitaw police force are investigating into the case,” said Police Lt-Col Hla Yi of Naypyitaw Police Force.

According to the police, violation of Article 67 of the Telecommunications Law is punishable by one year’s imprisonment, Article 8 of the Export/Import Law, three years’ imprisonment and Article 61(a) State Secrets Act, two years’ imprisonment.

On Sunday evening, police detained U Phyo Ko Ko Tint San at Naypyitaw Airport after discovering WY tablets, methamphetamine, two pistols and 72 bullets in his backpack.

Police have so far detained 12 people in connection with the case, and reportedly seized over 20 firearms, and thousands of bullets at his house, company and hotel in Naypyitaw and Yangon.

U Phyo Ko Ko Tint San is the chairman of ACE Co and contested in the 2012 by-election in Irrawaddy Region’s Myaungmya Township, but lost.

Additional Reporting by Htun Htun