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How to effectively address illegal gold mining – study

A study by researchers at the National University of Singapore found that increased enforcement and the offer of an alternative agriculture-based livelihood are unlikely to deter illegal gold miners in Myanmar. “It is simply too profitable,” they wrote in a paper published in the journal Conservation Science and Practice. Even though Myanmar is known as […]

Local liquor makers struggle against illegal imports

Local liquor manufacturers are struggling to stay profitable as competition from illegal importers continues eat into their margins, said U Soe Lwin, chair of The Myanmar Liquor Association (MLA). Legally imported liquors and spirits like whiskeys, rum and gin are taxed upon entry and this is passed on to consumers. “The total tax payable for […]

Two Japanese firms in Myanmar suspected of illegal labour exports

Two Japanese companies are suspected of illegally sending nine Myanmar workers to Japan who were intercepted at Yangon International Airport on Sunday. U Sai Sithu of the Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation said the two firms did not follow procedures for sending Myanmar workers overseas. “Due to weak enforcement of Myanmar laws, the firms sent […]

Authorities working on permitting liquor imports

Arrangements are being made to allow liquor, beer and wine imports, albeit within limits, U Aung Htoo, deputy minister for the Ministry of Commerce, said in Parliament. Supporting legislation will also be drafted. As Myanmar currently bans the import of alcohol, large quantities of foreign liquor, beer and wine are smuggled into the country on […]

Riding around with worries

On a Sunday and public holidays, the streets in front of the Hlaing Tharyar council office buildings are quiet and empty. U Htay Hlaing, aged 63, sits on his motorbike waiting to give his passengers a ride back home. Last year he converted his motorbike into a trishaw, which he uses to ferry people around […]

Calls to legalise wildcat oil-well operators

There is a need to legalise the activities of the wildcat prospectors whose hand-dug oil wells dot the land in Magwe Region, in central Myanmar. These illegal activities are a source of corrupt practices and loss of revenue to the regional government. These wells, a source of income and jobs for many in the surrounding […]

Withered leaves: the jailing of Myanmar’s hemp pioneers

A scheme to pioneer hemp cultivation in Myanmar resulted in a police raid, three arrests and an ongoing trial, despite being green-lit by the Mandalay Region government. AS WE ENTERED the compound of the family home in Myotha West village, we encountered a middle-aged man reading out loud from the Paṭṭhāna, a Buddhist scripture. A […]

Myanmar seizes over 326 tons of illegal timbers in NW region

Myanmar authorities seized a total of 326.8 tons of illegally harvested timbers in Sagaing region during the month of May, police said Sunday. The illegal timbers were confiscated in Tamu, a border town in the region with India, during search operations across the area by a combined team of Myanmar police force, forest department and […]

In jungles of Myanmar, sin city looks to a better future

Upon cruising on its wide, well-paved streets, the first question that enters a visitor’s mind is whether the city is still part of Myanmar. Past the lush green mountains where the concrete roads snake through the hinterlands, past what seems like never-ending rice fields, lies the concrete jungle of Mine Lar city, popularly known as […]

Illegal charcoal trade threatens Myanmar’s remaining mangroves

Mangroves from Myanmar are illegally harvested and converted into charcoal that is sent to Thailand before it’s sold to China, South Korea, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia by sea. The depletion of mangroves in southern Myanmar is impacting local fisheries near the island villages. The illegal charcoal trade persists due to a lack of law enforcement […]