Data from probe into dubious land deals submitted to Mandalay Region government
AN investigation team formed to look into suspect land concessions reportedly made during the transition period earlier this year has reported its findings to the Mandalay Region government, according to team leader U Myint Aung Moe.
“We reported the findings and suggestions, as well as appraisals. We don’t know yet how the regional government will decide concerning these acres of land and don’t know what day the regional government will decide. We have just reported the data to the regional government and the regional government must take time to read [the findings],” said U Myint Aung Moe, who is also a National League for Democracy lawmaker representing Chan Mya Tharsi constituency No 2.
The formation of his team was approved by the Mandalay Region Hluttaw on July 1. The team, which submitted its findings to the government on November 16, was tasked with investigating alleged land deals said to have occurred surreptitiously between February and March, often at below-market rates to people with ties to the previous government.
U Myint Aung Moe said the investigation team began its work on August 3 and found that more than 500 acres of public land in Chan Mya Tharsi, Chan Aye Tharzan and Pyigyitagun townships had been given to more than 240 persons. More than 1100 acres in Patheingyi and Amarapura townships likewise changed hands, involving over 160 people, the team found.
“According to the investigation, the relatives of government cabinet members were involved in it. They haven’t acquired the acres under the ministries’ names. We have only found their relatives’ names,” said U Myint Aung Moe.
The lands, which had been public, were previously set aside as part of “new city” urban development plans or as part of health, education or marketplace initiatives.
Mandalay Mayor U Ye Lwin told the regional hluttaw on July 1 that in some cases, the land transfers went beyond the scope of the Mandalay Region government’s authority.
In other cases, the land that was turned over to private hands earlier this year was sold off at one-fifth of its actual value.
“We have to wait to see how the regional government will decide based on the data that has been gathered by us,” said U Myint Aung Moe. “We plan to hold a press conference if the regional government’s decision is weak. We also want to show the data to the public.”
Mandalay Region Chief Minister U Zaw Myint Maung has told lawmakers that the government would renege on any untoward land deals uncovered by the investigation team, with the plots being returned to the public and the buyers given back their money.
– Translation by Win Thaw Tar
‘According to the investigation, the relatives of government cabinet members were involved.’
U Myint Aung Moe Investigation team leader