Kyauk Kadin Residents Detail Incident of Extortion

September 20, 2013

HURFOM: The situation for Yebyu Township locals continues to deteriorate under the unchecked influence of a Mon splinter group. The group continues to terrorize and extort villages despite the regional presence of the Burmese Military. Reports of extortion and torture highlight the lackluster security situation in the area straddling northern Yebyu Township and southern Ye Township.

On the night of September 9, five members of the Mon splinter group entered Kyauk Kadin village to extort money from the villagers. According to reports, they dragged five or six residents, including the wife of the village administrator and their 20-year old daughter, from their houses to an undisclosed location. The kidnappers then beat their victims and demanded a ransom in excess of six million kyat. Upon payment of the sum, the kidnapped were released and the kidnappers left. But the message had been duly sent: pay the demanded amount quickly or face violence.

According to the son of the village administrator, all victims were beaten and two were hospitalized with severe injuries. The wife of the administrator was discharged after three days while a 40-year old man remains hospitalized.

“Both my father and I were away from home when my mother and sister were kidnapped,” recalls the administrator’s son. “The kidnappers beat them so that they’d give the demanded money sooner, but if my mother and sister had been unable to provide the money, they would not have been released. After this incident, all our villagers have started locking their doors early, at around 6 PM.”

The splinter group had demanded 20 million kyat from Kyauk Kadin village during the day before attacking at night. Kyauk Kadin village has 100 households and most of its residents are plantation workers.

Locals believe that the group intended to frighten the entire village into quickly paying their 20 million kyat demand by kidnapping the group of villagers. However, no one knows where the group is from.

After the incident, representatives from both the Burmese military and the New Mon State Party (NMSP) visited the village to investigate the situation, but they too are unsure about how to confront future attacks from the group.

Worries of extortion and violence have proven contagious as concern has spread to neighboring villages where residents fear sleeping in their homes at night.

According to local reports, the Mon splinter group has demanded money from Alesaka, Kyauk Ta Lin, Sein Pon, Yay Ngan Gyi, Min Tar, Pha Yar Tone Zuu, Kyauk Kadin and other Yebyu Township villages over the last ten years.

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