KNU arrests three youths for drug abuse and extorts money from them

May 17, 2024

HURFOM: On May 11th, 2024, the Karen National Union (KNU) arrested three young men from Thar Yar Mon village, Yebyu Township, Tenasserim Division, after accusing them of using drugs.

16-year-old Maung Zar Lin, 22-year-old Maung Zar Ni Oo and 22-year-old Ko Aung Saw were arrested at their home.  The KNU said family members must pay one million MMK each for their release.

The three friends were stopped and checked (by the KNU) when going to the rubber plantation. Then, the KNU said they found three tablets on them. But they didn’t arrest them at that time.  The next morning, the KNU came to their home with prominent persons from the village and arrested them,” said a family member.

However, after a period of negotiation, the KNU agreed to accept 400,000 MMK for each person. All three of \ were released on May 13th.

The families could not afford the amount originally demanded.  They apologized and paid 400,000 MMK for each to obtain their release,” said a source close to the victim’s family members.

On April 24th, 2024, the KUN also arrested 33-year-old Ko Chan Mon from Ma Yan Chaung village, Yebyu Township after accusing him of selling drugs and committing robbery.

The KNU told his mother that she must pay 40 million MMK for his son’s release.

I replied that I could pay 20 million MMK. They threatened that if I can’t pay the amount they demanded, they would kill my son,” said the mother.

Because Ko Chan Mon’s mother could not pay, the KNU continued to detain him.   Family members have since lost contact, and there is no trace of him.


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