Mawlamyine, October (22)

Some ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) responded that the military leader’s claim that the country is being harmed by ethnic armed organizations (EAOs)’s participation in illegal trade is meaningless.

General Min Aung Hlaing accused some EAOs of being involved in illegal trade and causing harm to the country during a meeting with businessmen from small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) in Mawlamyine on October 18.

The coup leader, however, did not disclose which ethnic armed organizations (EAOs) were involved in illegal trade.

According to the military leader, when comparing trade statistics with neighboring countries, there is a nearly 50 % gap.

Illegal trade has been a problem for decades, and it is meaningless for a military leader to talk like this without solving political issues, the KNU’s spokesperson, Padoh Saw Taw Nee, said.

Colonel Sein Win, the spokesperson of the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (DKBA), pointed out that illegal trade involves not only the EAOs but also the entire military council’s mechanism, and that it occurs due to a lack of rule of law.

The junta chief has directed departmental officials to eradicate illegal trade and to control unlicensed vehicles and motorcycles.

On the other hand, the military council reorganized the anti-illegal trade steering committee at the end of last year and announced that it would reward informers in an effort to combat illegal trade.

On the ground, however, the military forces, border guard forces, law enforcement, customs departments, and the majority of departments are primarily involved in illegal trade with the extortion of money along the route of goods flow.

News -Than Lwin Times

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