Burglaries have been occurring almost every night in Maungdaw in Arakan State since a curfew was imposed under Section 144 in the area.
There are reportedly six gangs of thieves committing the crimes during the night, despite the official order that restricts any civilian going outside at night in Maungdaw.
Security forces are said to have caught the burglars red-handed and handed them over to the police station, but the police later released them without filing any charges after taking bribes.
“Not what is worse in our town is that the police have not taken any legal action against the burglars who were arrested, and set them free after taking money from them. The people here are now worried that the robberies will continue to occur because of the authorities’ negligence,” said a jewelry shop owner from Maungdaw on condition of anonymity.
He said the shops of various trades in Maungdaw’s Myoma Market, which is still closed without any guards due to the recent unrest, have been broken into and looted almost every night by the burglar gangs.
Those gangs are also said to be perpetrating the crime in collusion with local authorities and security forces.
“What we have heard is that some personnel of Nasaka who are being deployed for security in the town are also involved in the burglaries of the shops in the market. So, we, the town residents, are now wishing the higher authorities would take action to stop such theft in our town,” said the shop owner.
He said the town residents are now worried the burglaries will soon develop into robberies, while they are still living in fear of violent rioters, adding that they are now preparing to complain of the matter to the higher authorities, including the home minister.
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