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Local officials charged with stealing aid supplies

Jun 10, 2008 (DVB), Two local officials in Irrawaddy division’s Labutta township have been arrested by police for allegedly stealing foreign aid materials donated to cyclone victims, according to local residents.

A resident of Labutta township’s ward 1 told DVB that ward Peace and Development Council members U Yan Naing Htun and U Tin Htun were arrested after aid workers accidentally found some aid materials hidden at the bottom of a lake behind the office building.

"On 2 June, a group of aid workers came and drained the water out of the lake which was polluted with waste matter after the cyclone," said the resident.

"At the bottom of the lake they found over 100 zinc kitchen utensils, 12 packages of canned food, seven buckets of cooking oil and four tarpaulin sheets."

Ward PDC chairman U Thein Htun Aung was originally investigated along with Yan Naing Htun and Tin Htun but was released when authorities determined he had not been involved.

Yan Naing Htun and Tin Htun have now been charged for stealing aid materials and placed in police detention.

Labutta residents also said rice packages donated to victims in the township were being sold by local village officials for 8,000 kyat each at rice shops on the Strand Road.

Reporting by Aye Nai

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