Junta extorts individuals using VPN applications on their mobile phones

June 20, 2024

HURFOM: At the moment, the security forces of the military junta are checking the mobile phones of the pedestrians in Mon State, and if they find VPN applications, security forces have extorted as much as 100,000 MMK.

Since early June, 2024, junta’s security forces from various departments who have stationed themselves at exit or entrances of towns and road junctions have been checking mobile phones of pedestrians. The forces are targeting VPN applications to extort money from the users.

On June 12th, a local pedestrian was checked at the traffic junction near the No. #1 Basic Education High School in Ye Town and was extorted 200,000 MMK by the security forces.

He/she was checked at the junction nearby No.1 BEHS in Ye. They found a VPN application in his/her phone and extorted 200,000 MMK. Some pedestrians have to pay 50,000 MMK while some are extorted for 100,000 MMK. If you bring your phone with you, you are at risk,” said a resident from Ye Town.

The military junta has already barred people from using social media and now, they are banning the use of VPN services which are essential to access to social media platforms. This adds yet more hardships to businesspersons and sellers who rely on social media platforms.

After the COVID pandemic, people have been doing their business mostly on “Internet”. But as there has been a VPN problem at the moment, our business can’t operate smoothly. Our sale has significantly dropped. It’s time-consuming (to use social media) and we have to be patient,” said a woman who is operating an online sales business.

At the moment, bad telecommunication, slow internet connection and disturbances in using VPN services are creating a huge impact on socio-economic and education sectors in Mon State.


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