Corrupt police arrest youths, seize motorcycles in Mudon Township
November 27, 2007
Young people returning from a pagoda festival in Nyaung-gone village, Mudon Township were arrested by Kamarwet policemen, even though they did not commit any crime. They were detained to extort money, which the policemen claimed they had to pay to their higher authorities.
Five young people from Hnee-pa-daw village, between the ages of 14 and 18 years, were detained by policemen in Kamarwet village. Their unlicensed motorcycles were seized.
Admitting that the youth had not broken the law or created any trouble, the policemen said that they were arrested for money to be given to higher authorities, and to fulfill their quota. They had no cases to report and no money to give to senior authorities.
The policemen added that the youth could appeal – the policemen don’t care if they lose their jobs because they needed the money badly.
The youths were detained in Kamarwet police station for a night on November, 17 and their parents had to pay 20,000 kyat per person and 100,000 kyat per unlicensed motorbike to have their children released.
Travelling on motorbikes is common during the traditional festivals celebrated after Buddhist Lent.
Festivals are held in pagodas in different villages and young people often travel from village to village at night. Usually there is no seizure of unlicensed motorcycles but travellers have to pay a ‘wheel tax’ if their two wheeler is unlicensed.
This is the second time Hnee-pa-daw villagers have been arrested and made to pay money to avoid detention. A similar situation took place in Kwan-hlar village where travelers were arrested at night and made to pay 100,000 kyat.(Source: IMNA)