Police extorted about 350,000 Kyat from a schoolteacher after he stood accused of using a Bangladeshi SIM card in a mobile phone, according to relative who didn’t want to be named for security.
The alleged victim teaches at a government primary school in northern Maungdaw. The man was arrested after police came to his village to accuse him. Although the police didn’t find the phone they still arrested and detained him at the station in Gyikan Pyin. The man was released after he paid the bribe.
State authorities have already declared that the use of mobile phones with Bangladesh SIM cards is illegal for use in the border areas. Possession of one is punishable by law. But reports have emerged that the police are falsely accusing people in order to steal money.
Many people hoped that when Burma’s border guard force Nasaka was dissolved recently this kind of racketeering by authorities would be over. But it seems that the national police force, and the army, which have replaced them, is up to the same tricks.
One local politician that didn’t want their name used was not surprised.
“Old wine with new bottles,” the politician said.
A businessman from Maungdaw that didn’t want his name used commented that although this kind of persecution against the Rohingya community has decreased since the police took over its still happening.
Kaladan Press contacted the police station in Maungdaw for details about the schoolteacher’s case but no-one answered the phone at the time of press. The arrest was confirmed by a police aid but they couldn’t provide any more details.