Drivers of buses, trucks, and motorcycles traveling on the Dawei-Myit Tan-Mawhtar Road in Tennaserim Division (Tananthayi Region) are facing extortion from an unspecified armed group, according to drivers and travelers in the area...
Drivers of buses, trucks, and motorcycles traveling on the Dawei-Myit Tan-Mawhtar Road in Tennaserim Division (Tananthayi Region) are facing extortion from an unspecified armed group, according to drivers and travelers in the area.
According to a car driver, the armed group that is extorting money is related to the KNU. By having a mutual agreement, the armed group has collected taxes from buses, trucks and motorcycles that travel between Burma and Thailand.
“The KNU does not extort money from us. They and the vehicle drivers signed and agreed to give a monthly payment,” a driver told the KIC.
According to vehicle drivers, owners of buses and trucks have to pay 4,000 baht per month, and motorcycle owners have to pay 3,000 baht on a monthly basis. The tax collection was started earlier this year.
According to the Burmese Army’s Strategic Command 2, the armed group is from the KNU Brigade No. 4, which is based in Sinphyu Dai village near the Thai-Burma border. According to a SPDC news source, on 20 March, MOC 11 ordered LIB 557 Column 2 to confirm these details.
Padoh Thawthi Pe, secretary of Beik-Dawei district for KNU Brigade No. 4, responded that there are no KNU soldiers in the area because Burmese Army battalions tightly control the area.
“Burmese Army battalions have based their military camps in the area. They tightly control the entire area. We cannot step one foot in the area. So, how could we go there and collect taxes? I don’t really understand it because our soldiers are not in the area, yet news has leaked out that we have been collecting money,” Padoh Thawthi Pe said.
People can travel to Sinphyu Dai Village in Myit Tan Sub-township of Dawei District in Tennaserim Division by land, or cross the Taninthayi River by boat.
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