Nov 27, 2008 (DVB), A recent auction of confiscated cars in Mandalay has been criticised by locals as many of the vehicles had already been sold cheaply to friends of government officials before it opened to the public.
In middle of this month, authorities in Rangoon, Mandalay and Bago division’s Taung-Ngu township auctioned off unregistered cars that had been seized over the past year.
Residents of Mandalay who went to the sale on 19 November said the authorities had announced in advance that 300 cars would be available for auction.
But on the day, only around one hundred cars were left as individuals close to senior government officials had already taken the better ones, locals complained.
"They bought all the best ones at low prices and we were left with the worst ones to choose from," said one man who was at the auction.
Another Mandalay resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the auction was yet another example of the government keeping the best for themselves.
"Here we have a serious example of how important officials can profit from every event," he said.
"They are jumping the queue to get the best for themselves and leaving us with hardly anything, or maybe nothing if the amount is too small for them to share."
This was the third time such an auction had been held in Mandalay.
Authorities are planning hold the next one in Lashio in Shan state in December.
Reporting by Phone Min Naing