Police Detain Two Municipal Officials in Naypyitaw for Alleged Bribes

By Htet Naing Zaw 31 October 2017

NAYPYITAW — Police detained two municipal officers in Naypyitaw on Sunday evening after the Anti-Corruption Commission found that the pair had solicited money from some shop owners.

According to the suggestion of the Attorney General’s Office, the commission has filed a lawsuit against the two under Article 56 of Anti-Corruption Law 2013, said U Thin Maung, a member of the anti-corruption commission.

U Min Lwin Soe, deputy director-general of the market department and Dr. Khaing Soe Hla, deputy director-general of the veterinary and butcher department under the Naypyitaw City Development Committee allegedly took 3.5 million kyats from butchers in order to help them avoid their licenses being suspended.

The municipality temporarily suspends the license of butchers who fail to sell meat regularly in markets.

In the said case, some butchers failed to sell meat at markets for a while because of a decline in meat consumption following an avian flu scare in August.  Then, they allegedly paid the two municipal officials to avoid the suspension of their licenses, and filed a complaint that their licenses were suspended even after the alleged bribe.

“The Anti-Corruption Commission has filed a complaint with us. We didn’t arrest them. In corruption cases, the commission makes arrests on its own and files complaints with the police station,” said police lieutenant Myint Aung of Zabuthiri Township Police Station.

Shop owners filed a complaint on Aug. 21 with the Anti-Corruption Commission, which then investigated the two officials.

One of the accused, U Min Lwin Soe, has denied taking bribes, and said that he would countersue the plaintiffs for defamation.

Though the two municipal officers are based in Naypyitaw, the trial will be held at the regional court of Mandalay Region, and the pair will be detained at Mandalay Region No. 3 Police Station, an official of Naypyitaw municipality told the The Irrawaddy.

Article 56 of the Anti-Corruption Law states that except the political post holder, any other authorized person convicted of committing bribery shall be punished with less than 10 years’ imprisonment and fine.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.