Mawlamyine, 16 December

Deputy junta chief admitted that assigned personnel turn a blind eye to the illegal goods, take bribes without seizing them, and let them pass through.

Vice-Senior General Soe Win, made this remark at the illegal Trade Eradication Steering Committee held in Nay Pyi Taw on December 14.

According to the second military leader, the personnel on duty only seize low-value goods for show by asking for money and allowing them to carry the illegally imported goods without taking any action.

The vice military chief urged the chairpersons of the Special Task Forces of illegal trade eradication by Regions and States to strictly inspect and take effective action at all levels of officials who are involved in illegal trade, which loses revenue for the state.

According to border traders, the involvement of military officers, as well as relevant department officials, in illegal trade increased during the coup.

A border trader said, “As the Asian Highway is closed due to the ongoing fighting in Karen State, there is no legal trade at all. There is only one route, Htoe Kaw Koe, and the flow of Thai goods into Myanmar is only 10%.

More than 5,700 cases of illegal trade were seized, with an estimated value of nearly 128 billion kyats, from January to November of this year, according to information from the Trade Department of the Military Council.

The value of seizures has more than doubled compared to 2022, totaling more than 60 billion kyat.

The deputy junta chief has called for action as a “national duty” to fight the illegal trade, which loses state revenue.

Myanmar earns more than 30,000 million US dollars from the trade sector each year, and that trade value decreased significantly under the military regime, the data from the Department of Trade shows.

News-Than Lwin Times


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