Karen BGF taxes Shwe Kokko workers as it moves away from Myanmar’s military

The move comes despite evidence that scam factories and other illegal operations based in the “new city” on the Thai-Myanmar continue to generate massive revenue

The Karen Border Guard Force (BGF) has begun collecting taxes from employees working inside the notorious Shwe Kokko Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in eastern Karen (Kayin) State’s Myawaddy Township, according to sources there.

The move, which comes after the Karen BGF announced late last month that it was no longer accepting salaries or other financial support from Myanmar’s military junta, appeared to be aimed at finding alternative sources of revenue.

According to an employee of a casino in the Shwe Kokko SEZ—which hosts at least two dozen companies, each with hundreds of employees—workers received a notification earlier this month telling them they would have to pay a tax of 8,891 Thai baht (US$248) to the Shwe Kokko Myaing Urban Development Fund.

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