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Police raid KIO compound in Myitkyina

Police conduct a search of the KIO compound in Myitkyina on 12 December 2017. (PHOTO: DVB)

Police raided the office compound of the Kachin Independence Organisation’s (KIO) Technical Adviser Team in state capital Myitkyina on Tuesday, an incident the Kachin armed group has described as a “breach of trust”.

Speaking to DVB yesterday, KIO spokesperson Daung Kar said, “Such action harms the dignity of the KIO. It is a breach of trust, and leaves rooms for mistrust and suspicion.”

Locals in the area told DVB that they believe the police were searching for weapons.

Lamai Gum Ja of the local Peace Creation Group said, “The police officers entered the compound and said that they needed to conduct a search. They said the matter was related to the John San Lin case.”

Local Myitkyina man John San Lwin and his wife were arrested on 5 December after police found bullets hidden their home. The KIO says the couple are not affiliated with them.

KIO spokesman Daung Kar said, “They ransacked the compound under the pretext that they were searching for drugs. But this is not how one conducts a drug investigation.

“John San Lin has never lived in this compound nor does he work for the KIO,” he added. “They may claim otherwise, but we know the police raided us to look for weapons.”

Following the search, staff at the KIO compound were asked to sign forms testifying that they do not use drugs.

Daung Kar said the police did not show any search warrant when they entered the compound.