The Irrawaddy

Safe Stolen from Mandalay Minister’s Office

Mandalay regional minister of ethnic affairs U Sai Kyaw Zaw speaks to media after discovering his office was burgled. (Photo: Zaw Zaw / The Irrawaddy)

MANDALAY — A safe containing cash and personal documents was stolen from the office of the Mandalay regional minister of Shan ethnic affairs U Sai Kyaw Zaw in the regional government building over Thingyan, the minister told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday.

According to the minister, 100,000 kyats in cash and his vehicle registration documents were inside the safe. “No documents related to my office or the ministry were stolen,” he added.

“Although the safe is small [1.5-feet square] it is quite heavy and would take two or three men to carry,” he said, adding that he only noticed the safe was missing when he returned to his office from a trip abroad on Tuesday.

Mandalay District Police officer, Police Col Thet Win said a case had been filed and a special team had been formed to investigate, he said.

“It is still too early to say if an insider was involved. We believe we will find the culprits very soon,” said the police colonel.

The Minister said he was burgled around April 20, according to security camera footage, although the robbery itself was not recorded as the CCTV cameras were tampered with.

The office of U Myo Thit, the regional minister of natural resources and environment, was also broken into.

“We saw screwdrivers and tools from U Myo Thit’s office in my office, I think they [the thieves] tried to open the safe but were unsuccessful and later took away the whole thing,” said U Sai Kyaw Zaw.

“I wonder how the thieves knew U Myo Thit’s office had screwdrivers and tools,” he said, adding that he believed it was an inside job.

News of the incident was shared widely on social media. Netizens argued that if Mandalay police cannot keep government offices secure, there is little hope for the city’s residents.