Grisly mur­ders fuel on­line spec­u­la­tion

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - TOE WAI AUNG toe­wa­iaung@mm­times.com – Trans­la­tion by Khant Lin Oo

Yangon po­lice are try­ing to quell a se­ries of ru­mours spread­ing af­ter the quadru­ple homi­cide of a for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer and three of his fam­ily mem­bers at Min­gal­adon last week.

YANGON po­lice have sought to quell spec­u­la­tion over the quadru­ple homi­cide of a for­mer po­lice of­fi­cer and three of his fam­ily mem­bers in Min­gal­adon town­ship last week, af­ter ru­mours about pos­si­ble mo­tives and cul­prits cir­cu­lated widely on so­cial me­dia.

The body of 37-year-old U Soe Naung and his 34-year-old wife Ma Cherry Pwint, and sons Maung Han Thura, 13, and Maung Swan Htet Myat, 8, had been found by a neigh­bour on the morn­ing of Au­gust 20. All were re­port­edly found with vis­i­ble stab wounds and the bod­ies were sent to In­sein Hospi­tal for post­mortem ex­am­i­na­tions.

One pop­u­lar ver­sion of the story do­ing the rounds on Face­book was that the killings were re­lated to a thwarted drug bust for­mer of­fi­cer U Soe Naung had sup­pos­edly been in­volved with. This ru­mour in­volved U Soe Naung and three other of­fi­cers fail­ing to stop a van at a check­point, then some­how climb­ing aboard and cling­ing to it for quite some dis­tance be­fore it stopped and the driver es­caped, leav­ing be­hind the ve­hi­cle’s cargo of 6 mil­lion yaba pills. U Soe Naung was re­ported to have quit the force out of shame.

In a state­ment is­sued yes­ter­day, po­lice said the story was likely an echo-cham­ber ver­sion of a case in which Nar­cotics Task Force 42 and Mayan­gone po­lice ar­rested six peo­ple with 640,000 yaba tablets, 44 grams of crys­tal metham­phetamine, 54 grams of opium and K10 mil­lion (US$8500). But this case took place on March 3 of this year, and U Soe Naung re­port­edly re­signed from the po­lice force in 2014. The sec­ond ru­mour po­lice sought to ad­dress was that of U Soe Aung hav­ing ac­cepted a bribe in Fe­bru­ary when he ar­rested one Ko Win Ko Oo over firearms pos­ses­sion and hav­ing an un­li­censed ve­hi­cle in Bago Re­gion in Fe­bru­ary. Po­lice say Ko Win Ko Oo has been cleared as a sus­pect. Yangon po­lice have dis­trib­uted a pho­to­graph of three men who are wanted for ques­tion­ing in re­la­tion to the case.

The mur­ders are still un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion and po­lice have ap­pealed to the pub­lic for any in­for­ma­tion.

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