Military raids on gold mining village

Dec 20, 2007 (DVB), A gold mining village in Mandalay division’s Thar Si township was raided last week by government troops who seized valuable items and cash, according to locals.

Leh Pyin village, located on a railway line half way between Thar Si and Kalaw township in Shan state, is well known among people in the gold business for its mines and is populated by informal gold diggers.

There are about 150 households in the village.

Village residents said that around 70 soldiers from the government’s Defence Services Command and General Staff College in Kalaw township, led by major Myat Htun, raided the village on 14 December and seized items from several gold shops.

"Several gold and cash stashes and about four television sets from Ye Nyi Naung gold shop were seized, as well as gold-purifying equipment and other property from Lwan Moe Aung gold shop, and about 1.4 million kyat and 294 grams of gold from Shwe Thazin gold shop," one local resident said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"They seized satellite dishes and other personal belongings from the villagers as well."

The resident said that gold diggers who pay 100,000 kyat a month to local authorities to work in the gold mine were not targeted in the raids.

Thar Si township authority was unavailable for comment.

Reporting by Nan Kham Kaew

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