Three Chinese With Fake IDs Detained at Myanmar Jade and Gems Emporium

By Kyaw Myo 23 September 2019

NAYPYITAW—Police have detained three Chinese men who attempted to enter the Jade and Gems Emporium event in Naypyitaw using fake Myanmar national ID cards.

“They will be detained in custody for 15 days. As they don’t understand Burmese, we are interrogating them with an interpreter. The inquiry is not yet over,” a police officer from Zabuthiri police station in Naypyitaw told The Irrawaddy on Friday.

Union Minister of Labor, Immigration and Population U Thein Swe told the members of the media at the Lower House of Myanmar’s Parliament that action will be taken against the three Chinese men in line with the law.

“We will find out from them where they got those fake ID cards and if they used the ID cards with or without the knowledge that they are fake before taking any action against them,” U Thein Swe told reporters.

The three Chinese men, according to the police, attempted to enter the 2019 Mid-Year Jade and Gems Emporium in Zabuthiri Township in the administrative capital of Naypyitaw using fake Myanmar citizenship ID cards on Sept. 16.

Immigration officers at the gate of the event found the ID cards suspicious and when they contacted the immigration offices of the townships listed on the IDs, they learned that they were fake.

According to police records, the three hold Chinese passports and are from the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of China, which borders Vietnam.

A Zabuthiri Township immigration officer has filed a complaint with the township police station against the three under the immigration law and Article 420 and 468 of the Penal Code for counterfeiting documents.

If convicted, they will face up to seven years in prison under the Penal Code and between six months and five years under the immigration law.

The Jade and Gems Emporium is being held from Sept. 16-25. Over 7,800 jade lots and over 480 gem lots are on sale for foreign jade and gem merchants, who must pay for the lots in euros, not kyats or yuan.

Around 3,000 jade and gem merchants registered to attend the emporium, most of whom, as usual, are from China, according to the emporium’s organizing committee.

Admission to the emporium is restricted to diplomats, members of jade and gem merchant associations and invited guests, said U Min Thu, chairman of the organizing committee. However, observers can enter the emporium for 200,000 kyats (US$130) per day if a local or foreign jade and gem company will guarantee them.

Translated from Burmese by Thet Ko Ko.