Asia/Pacific

Myanmar businessman tied to military says he gave Aung San Suu Kyi cash

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A Myanmar businessman with ties to the military on Thursday claimed he gave more than half a million dollars to now-detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, the latest corruption allegation levied against the civilian government since last month’s military-led coup. 

Property developer Maung Waik, who was previously convicted of drug trafficking, told state TV that he gave various payments to Suu Kyi from 2018 to 2020, The Associated Press reported. 

Waik said the money included $100,000 in 2018 to a charity named after Suu Kyi’s mother, as well as $150,000 in 2019, $50,000 last February and $250,000 in April, each for unspecified reasons. 

According to the AP, state-run newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar reported that the country’s Anti-Corruption Commission is investigating the latest claims against the deposed leader. 

Myanmar’s military last week accused Suu Kyi of accepting bribe payments worth $600,000 as well as gold during her time in government, which the anti-corruption committee is also said to be investigating. 

The military junta has continued to advance claims of corruption among the civilian government to justify its Feb. 1 coup, which has prompted massive protests in the country in which more than 200 people have been killed by security forces. 

The military has argued that the country’s November 2020 election, in which Suu Kyi’s party had massive wins, was invalidated by widespread fraud. The country’s election commission has refuted this claim. 

Since the military takeover, Suu Kyi and President Win Myint have been charged with inciting unrest, possession of walkie-talkies and violating a pandemic-era limit on social gatherings, according to the AP. 

The military has continued to clamp down on anti-coup demonstrations in the country, and on Sunday declared martial law in parts of the country’s largest city of Yangon. 

Reuters on Thursday reported that the military has restricted internet access, with public Wi-Fi all but disconnected.

The last private newspaper in the country ceased production as of Wednesday, though state-run media have not been impacted by the restrictions on information, according to Reuters.

Tags anti-coup protests Aung San Suu Kyi corruption charges Martial law Military coup Myanmar Myanmar coup Reuters The Associated Press

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