Police seize misappropriated aid in Kha Yan

Jun 10, 2008 (DVB), Police raiding a house in Kha Yan township on 27 May recovered international relief supplies intended for cyclone survivors, according to a Kha Yan resident.

Township Peace and Development Council chairperson Hla Thaung was alleged to have secretly stored the aid in office guard Aye Hlaing's house instead of distributing it to cyclone victims.

"Police found 27 different kinds of supplies made in the USA including waterproof torches, lighters, tanned fish and so on," the Kha Yan resident said.

"Aye Hlaing was asked why these items were in his house. He said he was given them and that's why he had kept them," he went on.

"He also told the police that other people were sharing the aid as well."

The secretary and the police tried to prosecute Hla Thaung for misappropriation of aid but the chairperson denied the charges.

"Hla Thaung once told ward Peace and Development Council chairpersons that they could distribute aid to whoever they wanted and also that they could use it for themselves," the resident said.

DVB was told that cyclone survivors in Kha Yan township did not receive as much aid as they should have done because ward PDC authorities shared it with their relatives and USDA members before distributing it to local residents.

"In the villages, every person got one pyi [approximately 4 kg] of rice and in urban area each person got three pyi," the resident said.

"They were badly affected by the cyclone but none of them received any good quality supplies," he complained.

"When the generals came, the local authorities showed them nice tents and said the cyclone survivors were staying there but those tents disappeared once the generals left. None of the refugees was given a nice tent."

Reporting by Khin Hnin Htet

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