Troops of the Burmese Army extorted Kyat 50 lakhs from locals and animal traders in northern Chin state. The soldiers belonged to the Light Infantry Battalion No. (50) based in Sabawngte village army camp of Matupi Township, Chin state, Burma on November 29.
The traders are from Reng Khiang village, Matupi Township. They were taking domestic animals to sell in Mizoram, northeast India.
The animal traders were stopped by soldiers between Lung Cawi and Sabawngte village where the money was extorted.
“We didn’t make profits because we paid Kyat 30 lakhs for 13 buffaloes in Burma and sold it for Rs. 23,000 rupees in Mizoram. Now the exchange rate is 15 Kyats to the rupee. We also spent money waiting for the butchers to pay up, ” said a trader.
Most of animal traders buy Indian made solar plates from Mizoram and sell it in Burma to recover their capital.
The Burmese Army extorts money from anamal traders although recruting porters and forced labor is on the decline in Chin state, especially in rural areas.
“We feel our relationship with the local Burmese Army battalions is comfortable in the region, but the army are still extorting money from traders,” a local from the Indo- urma border said.