Police point finger at AA over Mrauk U administrator’s death

By SU MYAT MON | FRONTIER

YANGON — The Ministry of Home Affairs has accused the Arakan Army of orchestrating the killing of former Mrauk U Township administrator U Bobo Min Theik.

The ministry said in a Facebook post on Monday night that two of those involved in his death had trafficked drugs and weapons on behalf of the AA, which is based in Rakhine and Chin states and clashes regularly with the Tatmadaw.

Bobo Min Theik’s body was found in an overturned car beside the Sittwe-Ponnagyun highway on the evening of January 30. Police said he had been stabbed multiple times and said they were searching for three men who were in the car with Bobo Min Theik but fled the scene.

The following day four suspects were arrested in Yangon’s Thanlyin Township.

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The Ministry of Home Affairs said its investigation had found that two of those detained, U Kyaw Myint and his son Maung Min Than Thaik, of Tinnyo village in Mrauk U, had trafficked 4.4 million YW methamphetamine pills from Shan State to Buthidaung and Maungdaw in Rakhine State between December 2016 and November 2017.

They allegedly earned more than K397 million from the sale of the drugs, which was then used to finance the purchase and trafficking of arms to the AA. The weapons – 19 M-16 firearms and 6,000 bullets, and five handguns and 59 bullets – were purchased from a woman in Mandalay and a man in the Kayin State border town of Myawaddy, the statement alleged.

Of the weapons, they kept one handgun and nine bullets and sent the rest to the AA, the statement said.

It said that Kyaw Myint and Min Than Htaik admitted during a police “examination” that they had planned to kill Bobo Min Theik.

Bobo Min Theik had been ordered to transfer to Sittwe from Mrauk U in the wake of a police crackdown on protesters in the ancient city in January that left at least eight people dead.

The Ministry of Home Affairs alleges that on January 26 Kyaw Myint called Bobo Min Theik and told him he would send him to Sittwe in his car, and instructed him to be ready to leave on January 29. They agreed that Bobo Min Theik would be accompanied to Sittwe by three men, who police said were also allegedly involved in the plan.

While on the road from Mrauk U to Sittwe a fight broke out after two of the men tried to take Bobo Min Theik’s phone. The men allegedly stabbed him and the car overturned during the scuffle.

Meanwhile, on January 28 Kyaw Myint and his wife Daw Kyi Kyi Win left for Yangon. Police apprehended their son, Min Than Thaik, in Mayangone Township on January 31, and later that day the couple and their daughter-in-law were arrested at a nunnery in Thanlyin Township.

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