Tipped Off by Netizens, Rangoon Police Arrest Six Alleged Miscreants

By The Irrawaddy 21 January 2016

RANGOON — Police have arrested six people in Rangoon’s Hlaing Tharyar Township, according to a Yangon Police Force statement on Thursday, after netizens shared photos of them on Facebook this week allegedly taking part in illegal activities, with the social media post labeling the men “drug barons” and gamblers.

The Facebook post features a number of photos showing the men allegedly selling drugs and opening gambling dens in Hlaing Tharyar Township, which is notorious as the jurisdiction in the commercial capital with the highest crime rate.

Acting on instructions from the Yangon Police Force chief, police on Wednesday arrested six men—Win Naing, Leik, Aung Soe and Shwe Oo Zi, who live in Hlaing Tharyar Township, and Win Naing and Sein Htay residing in Shwepyithar Township.

The Yangon Police Force said it had arrested the men overs concerns that they posed a threat to “public security and community peace, and tranquility and rule of law.”

Following the arrests, however, law enforcement authorities came in for scrutiny, with some social media users pointing out that the men were called to the attention of police only through the work of netizens, and not through their own efforts to ensure law and order.

“Do you guys arrest them only when reported on Facebook?” one user commented on the Yangon Police Facebook page.

Police are interrogating the suspects at the concerned township police stations.

Among those arrested, Leik also goes by Khin Sein, Aung Soe is also known as Aung Soe Lay and Shwe Oo Zi identifies also as Ye Nyunt.