RANGOON — On Wednesday, police in Rangoon’s Dala Township intercepted a 2-ton piece of unworked jade that was being carried on a cargo truck.
Police official Thet Naing told The Irrawaddy on Friday that the driver of the truck, Kyan Khaing, was arrested on Dala Twan Tae Street in the township’s Kamarkasit ward. He was an employee at Royal Water World International Trading Co., Ltd, a vehicle rental business. Police have launched an investigation and have filed the case with the township court.
According to police, the stone is some six feet in length and two feet in width. While police have been unable to obtain proper documentation verifying the stone’s owner, it reportedly belongs to Aung Soe, who allegedly bought it from the Raza Nyi Naung Gems and Jewelry Enterprise at some point within the last three months. The stone is valued at some 20 million kyats (US$16,870).
“We can’t estimate the value of the jade because we aren’t jade experts,” said Thet Naing, although Aung Soe supposedly bought the stone for more than 20 million kyats (US$16,870).
The Naypyidaw-based Myanmar Gems and Jewelry Entrepreneurs Association has been brought onto the case to determine whether the stone was purchased legally.
Police said that this sort of jade seizure is unprecedented in Dala, a township situated on the southern bank of the Rangoon River, across from downtown Rangoon.
“When locals heard about the stone, they became fascinated with the case,” said Tin Hla, a Dala resident.