Burma’s Ministry of Home Affairs has alleged that the Arakan Army (AA) conspired in the recent murder of Bo Bo Min Thaik, the former township administrator of Mrauk-U.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Ministry said that after questioning suspect Kyaw Myint, it was now believed that the AA played a role in the incident.
Bo Bo Min Thaik was murdered on his way back to Sittwe after having been questioned by authorities regarding a deadly police crackdown on a protest in Mrauk-U last month. He was found stabbed to death beside his car on the evening of 30 January between mileposts 169 and 170 on the Sittwe-Ponnagyun highway.
The government statement said that Kyaw Myint has admitted to police that on the evening on 25 January, he discussed a plan to murder Bo Bo Min Thaik with another four men, namely Ko Latt, Spy, Zaw Myo Aung and Myo Chit Aung. According to the statement, the five men conspired to abduct and murder the recently deposed Mrauk-U administrator while he was relocating to Sittwe some days later.
On 26 January, Kyaw Myint allegedly phoned Bo Bo Min Thaik and offered to help him move to Sittwe.
According to the Ministry, Kyaw Myint then called the AA’s campaign officer Ko Latt and asked him to arrange transportation. Suspect Myo Chit Aung was placed in the role of driver, while the other two men, Spy and Zaw Myo Aung, were assigned to accompany Myo Chit Aung and act as assistants in carrying the baggage and belongings of Bo Bo Min Thaik.
On the day of the move to Sittwe, the Ministry of Home Affairs said, Spy and Zaw Myo Aung stabbed Bo Bo Min Thaik in the car. The ensuing fracas apparently caused the vehicle to swerve off the highway.
The Ministry also alleged that the father and son duo – Kyaw Myint and Min Than Htay – had previously purchased and transported arms for the AA and were also involved in the drugs trade.
The AA has yet to respond to the accusations. After the deadly police crackdown on Mrauk-U protesters on 16 January, the AA issued a statement, threatening to “take tough action against those who had slain the civilians”.