Check-point Officials and Administrators extort villagers in Pu Law

November 15, 2023

HURFOM: In Pu Law Township, Tenasserim Division, the junta’s check-point personnel and village Administrators have been extorting villagers and abusing their power, local people reported HURFOM.

In 2022, the Pu Law Township authority said every village needed a recommendation letter from the village Administrator for such things as, traveling to another township, working as taxi driver, selling goods, and fishing in the sea.  Villagers were threatened to apply for a recommendation letter with the claim that everyone who had done these types of activities  without recommendation letters, would be arrested.

There have been different types of recommendation letters and villagers have to pay from 1,000 to even nearly 20,000 MMK per recommendation letter.

The validity (and rate of extortion) of each recommendation letter is different. One day, a week or a month, etc.,” said a villager who wants to stay anonymous.

However, in September, 2023, the Burmese soldiers said they would no longer recognize such recommendation letters from village Administrators and began to extort villagers again.

We’re arrested even for having a recommendation letter. The soldiers said they didn’t recognize the letter. They extorted us for any number of reasons,” said the local villager.

Residents have problems traveling as they have been interrogated and arrested even though they have a recommendation letter from village Administrators.

We’ve paid money to get the recommendation letter but it’s useless now. So we have to avoid the check-points during our travels,” said a resident.

The military junta has declared a martial law in Pu Law Township and military personnel at these check-points extort money from travelers without any reason.

They’ve announced in the village that we’ll be punished if we don’t have any recommendation letter. I already know it’s useless so I don’t apply for any letter. When I reach the check-point, I’ve just given cash to them,” said a local man.


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