After Robbing Villages, Armed Group Returns Money

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An unidentified armed group that robbed two villages in southern Chin State returned the money by the following day.

Salai Aung Min, of Paletwa township’s education department, told Khonumthung News, the village headmen informed him the money had been returned.

“They called the villagers to pick up the money,” Salai Aung Min said.

The armed group stole 2 million kyat (about US$1,380) near Maung-Nama on February 5. The cash was to pay salaries for teachers in Sapyin and Taron-ai village. It was given back by 2 pm the following day.

Police officers from Paletwa township said the armed group also took 4 million kyat (US$2,760) of their money. It’s unclear if this money was returned.

Internet services in Paletwa township and parts of Rakhine State have been suspended by the communication ministry since February 3 making it impossible for locals to transfer or receive money using the internet.

Locals assumed soldiers from the Arakan Army (AA) that are active in the area were behind the robbery.

Khonumthung News tried to call  Khine Thukha, the AA spokesperson, for comments but couldn’t reach him.

The Burma Army and AA frequently clash in Paletwa township. Fighting in the last year have displaced over 80,000 civilians in southern Chin State and northern Rakhine State.

The Burma Army has arrested many civilians under suspicion of being part of the AA, and several have died while in their custody.

AA have kidnapped many civilians and even a member of the NLD and local MP.

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