Taiwanese Man Gets 4 Months, Hard Labor for Illegal Firearm

By Salai Thant Zin 31 March 2015

PATHEIN, Irrawaddy Division — An Irrawaddy Division court last week sentenced a Taiwanese man to four months in prison with hard labor for carrying an unlicensed firearm aboard a boat in the delta region.

Naval personnel from Panawaddy Naval Region based on Ngapudaw Township’s Haigyi Island on Feb. 5 stopped a fishing vessel owned by a local company called Shwe Nan Win for fishing beyond permissible maritime boundaries.

Authorities’ search of the vessel turned up a 12-gauge shotgun and three bullets owned by Taiwanese national Chen Chih Wei. The suspect was transported to Haigyi Island police station, where he was charged with carrying an unlicensed firearm, a crime for which the Ngapudaw Township Court found him guilty on Thursday of last week.

The Taiwanese man was transferred to Pathein Prison on Saturday.

Police officer Aung Naing Moe, a spokesman for the office of the Irrawaddy Division chief of police, told The Irrawaddy: “The gun was kept on the vessel. It is hard to say for what purpose it was kept. We charged him because it is unlicensed.”

When the naval personnel searched the vessel, called Jin Yeu Shuenn, there were eight Taiwanese men on board, all of whom held valid visas for Burma.

Police charged Chin Chih Wei, the owner of the gun, and turned the seven other Taiwanese men over to the local Fisheries Department. Kyaw Myint Kyaw, deputy chief of Irrawaddy Division’s Fisheries Department, said the seven other men were released after they were found in full compliance with the law.