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Myanmar: Junta Boss issues warning for corruption scandal

Naypyidaw, Sep 29 (Prensa Latina) Junta boss Min Aung Hlaing has warned that senior military officers and ministers caught abusing their power for personal benefit will face heavy penalties in addition to dismissal.

The junta boss issued the warning at a meeting of his regime’s governing body, the State Administration Council, in Naypyitaw on Thursday.

It comes amid a junta corruption probe sparked by soaring prices of basic commodities that has seen several high-profile members of the regime arrested and interrogated.

Min Aung Hlaing said he had entrusted SAC posts to military and civilian officials based on their experience and expertise.

“After being entrusted with posts, some [SAC] members have been forced into retirement, and appropriate punitive action will be taken against them for abusing their positions of power for personal benefit,” the regime boss was quoted as saying by Sept. 29’s edition of junta newspaper Myanma Alin.

Lieutenant-General Ye Win Oo, joint secretary of the SAC, also detailed plans for legal action against “those selling cooking oil and other commodities at rates much higher than reference rates, and departmental officials who are involved,” according to junta media.

Min Aung Hlaing’s warning came days after Lt-Gen Moe Myint Tun and Lt-Gen Soe Htun were purged from the SAC. Moe Myint Tun held the post of SAC trade chief while Soe Htun was the home affairs minister.

Junta officials came under the spotlight for massive corruption after the regime detained and interrogated business owners in response to soaring prices of food and other necessities. Dozens if not hundreds of business owners including cronies, fuel importers, money changers, exporters of rice, corn, beans and pulses have been detained for questioning.

Moe Myint Tun reportedly took millions of US dollars in bribes from business owners while serving as trade chief over the past two years.

A business owner told The Irrawaddy that business operators had to hand over US$ 20,000 or the equivalent in gold just to secure a meeting with Moe Myint Tun, and more to get his nod for their businesses.

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