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Police officers arrested after lottery crackdown

Mar 10, 2008 (DVB), More than 30 police officers in Bago township were arrested on 2 March due to suspicions that an information leak had sabotaged a raid on illegal lottery sellers.

Bago division authorities' anti-gambling force carried out a surprise raid on two and three digit lottery vendors on 22 January, but was only able to arrest four of the nine major sellers in the township.

A local resident said that authorities assumed the operation was unsuccessful because the vendors had been warned of the planned raid.

"The divisional authorities formed an anti-gambling force and tried to catch the lottery vendors, but they only arrested four of the nine major sellers in Bago township," the resident said.

"The authorities assumed this is because information was leaked by police in exchange for bribes from the vendors, and so they arrested the police officers."

Over 30 police officers from police stations 1, 2 and 3 in Bago were arrested on 2 March.

But the officers' families have complained that their arrests were unfair.

One Bago local said that low-level police officers had been unfairly blamed for the failure to arrest the lottery vendors.

"Officials at all levels are taking bribes, and people think this information leak might have come from the top-level officials, not the low-level police officers who were arrested," the local said.

No senior officials were among those arrested.

Since 5 March, a small number of police officers from Bago division have been transferred to other parts of Burma.

Reporting by Aye Nai


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