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Burmese authorities carried out a surprise raid in a northern town on Saturday, after allegations surfaced of a wide-scale police corruption ring authorising the use of hundreds of unlicenced vehicles.
A source close to Kale township police station in Sagaing division told DVB that a troupe of Naypyidaw police officers descended on the town by air and land over the weekend and immediately began cracking down on unlicenced vehicles.
“The [Naypyidaw police] arrived via a charter flight on Saturday and immediately began cracking down on unlicensed vehicles,” said the source, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “[Local] police officials are also under investigation.”
Dozens of police officers have been accused of accepting bribes in exchange for letting local owners and brokers use 700 unlicenced vehicles in their jurisdiction. The allegations emerged in a local news report, which cited a local automobile “broker” threatening to expose a corrupt police ring, after he was arrested for the possession of unlicenced vehicles.
“Police officers in Kale have been making a lot of profit through bribes for the unlicenced vehicles – the district police is involved in this case,” said the source.
He added that police officials in the district are now under investigation and must sign paperwork each time they leave their stations for duty. Kale district consists of Kale, Kalewa and Minkin townships in northern Burma.
President Thein Sein has vowed to clamp down on corruption in Burma, which currently ranks 172 out of 176 on Transparency International’s corruption perception index.