Resistance Fighters Return Motorcycles Looted by Myanmar Junta Troops to Owners

By The Irrawaddy 20 June 2022

Sagaing Region resistance forces have returned motorcycles to Chaung-U Township villagers after they were looted by Myanmar’s regime troops.

More than 100 soldiers raided Ba Lway village in the southeast of the township, which is a resistance stronghold, and looted valuables and 10 motorcycles, including five Honda motorcycles, on June 10. The 10 vehicles were worth around US$5,400. 

The soldiers forced villagers to transport the motorcycles to nearby Nat Yay Kan village. 

Troops normally carry away loot in military vehicles but they reportedly feared mine attacks by the resistance. Troops kept the looted vehicles at Nat Yay Kan. 

“All the stolen vehicles were stored in one place. Resistance fighters entered the village on Friday while the soldiers were raiding elsewhere. Our members rode the motorcycles back to Ba Lway,” Ko Nway Oo, who leads the Civilian Defense and Security Organization in Myaung, told The Irrawaddy on Monday.

They returned the motorcycles to their owners on Saturday.

Troops detained Ba Lway villagers on June 9. Villagers fleeing on motorcycles were intercepted by troops, who took their bikes. The villagers were held for over 30 hours without food, according to a villager. 

More than 100 villagers, including older citizens and children, were released when soldiers left the village on June 10. Around 70 mobile phones were seized by soldiers.

A Ba Lway villager said: “I am very glad to get my motorcycle back. We could not buy a new one. We did not dare take them back, although we knew they were in Nat Yan Kan. Fortunately, the resistance rescued them. We are very thankful.”

Ba Lway had about 600 houses before the junta raids. More than 1,000 villagers have been displaced and are living in the forests, according to a villager.

Many Chaung-U villages have been raided this month with numerous houses torched.