Man found killed and tied up, another missing, as 15 cows stolen in Rakhine village 

One man was killed and another went missing last week when 15 cows were stolen from a village in Ponnagyun township in Rakhine state, but the families of the victims say they have not filed cases with local police. 

Tun Thein, 52, was found dead on January 6 at a hut where he had gone to harvest crops four miles from his village of Kyaw Zan. His hands and legs were tied and covered in bruises.

Thirty-four-year-old Aung Naing, who was with Tun Thein at the hut, has gone missing. Ten of the stolen cows belonged to Tun Thein while the other five were Aung Naing’s.

Tun Thein’s family members said they have already buried his body and did not want to file a case with the police. Aung Naing’s family are searching for him and have not yet decided whether to open a case.

“The police station said we needed to bring the body to the hospital if we wanted to open a case,” said Shwe Thein, Tun Thein’s brother. “But we’ve buried the body, and if we bring it to the hospital the body will be in a bad state. Besides that, we also don’t want to open a case.”

Kyaw Zan village’s administrator, Khin Tun, said he had reported the incident to the township administration and the police.

“The police asked if we wanted to open a case, but if we were to open a case we’d have to bring the body to the Ponnagyun hospital first,” he said. “The family members said they do not wish to open a case. He’s been buried.”

Tun Maung, Aung Naing’s brother-in-law, said the family were searching for him and have yet to open a case.

“We haven’t had time to decide or discuss how we’d proceed with the report,” he told Myanmar Now. “We’ve had incidents of cows going missing before in our region. But no such case where someone was killed and another person went missing.” 

Ponnagyun township’s deputy administrator, Zaw Zaw Tun, declined to answer questions about the incident on the grounds that it was a police matter.

Myanmar Now reached out to officers of the Ponnagyun township police station but there was no answer.

Kyaw Zan village sits along the Tagoe stream in an area where there were several cases of cows being stolen last year, said Khin Maung Latt, the Amyotha Hluttaw representative for Ponnagyun.

Stolen cows are usually sold in other regions or sent to Bangladesh. The current market price for a cow in Rakhine is around a million kyat ($750), local residents said.

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