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A spokesperson for the Magwe regional government has confirmed the return of 3.25 billion kyat (US$2.5 million), which accounts for nearly the half the missing funds attributed to the previous administration.
“This is the eleventh installment they have made,” said Nay Myo Kyaw, the regional Minister of Labour, Immigration and Population.
After an MP accused the previous Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) administration of embezzling from Magwe’s coffers – specifically some 7.5bn kyat in tax revenue collected from oil well drillers in the Magwe region, which had been earmarked for development projects –the Union government appointed a team to investigate.
It was uncovered that 1.7 bn kyat had been rerouted to the USDP, while another 1.57 bn kyat was transferred to the Shwe Thukha Microcredit Association.
After the President’s Office ordered that the missing revenue was returned, former chief minister of Magwe Division, Phone Maw Shwe, pledged in May to comply by repaying the missing money in monthly installments. A number of vehicles, boats and construction equipment were also returned.
“These are public funds,” reiterated Nay Myo Kyaw. “According to our financial rules and regulations, this money still cannot be redistributed, and it must then be decided if Magwe regional government will have the authority to re-allocate these funds.”