September 23, 2017
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Bagan beefs up tourist police to curb foreign tourists robbery

File picture of a lone foreign tourist riding a bike in Bagan. Photo: Hong Sar / Mizzima

Twenty more tourist-police will be assigned to Bagan to curb tourists robbery, on August 20, a police officer of the Tourist Police Force (Bagan) told Mizzima. The total number of tourist-police will be raised to 50 thereafter.

Police officer Khaing Win of the Tourist Police Force (Bagan) said, “Robberies are happening frequently and it is not good for both Bagan and the country. So, to protect (tourists) from (robbery), we will have a discussion with local leaders and township chiefs. Then we will carry out a plan to curb it.”

Most robberies occur in deserted areas. Generally, it does not occur to the tourists who come with Tour packages as they are in groups and accompanied by tourist guides of their respective tour company. Usually the victims are F.I.T (Foreign Independent Traveler). The authorities will issue alert warnings about robberies in hotels and tourist sites, according to officer  Khaing Win.

A Bagan resident said that on the evening of August 3, a Frenchman was beaten up and robbed on the way to the Alodawpye Temple. In previous cases, robbers only snatched things from tourists. But the robbery on August 3 shows that the situation is getting worse. The robbers are becoming bolder and have started attacking tourist.

Zaw Win Cho, the Chairman of Bagan Tourist Guides Association said, “It does not happen in other tourist sites in the county. It is happening only in Bagan. It reflects poorly on the image of Bagan. It happened again in spite all of us were trying to prevent it. To ensure safety, we plan to have a meeting which will be attended by officials of all relevant Ministries in Bagan.”

In February this year, there were 3 cases of foreign tourists robbery. Robbery was also reported in March and May, too. In July, Taiwanese citizens were robbed.

Since March, tourist police officers have been assigned to tourist sites in Bagan, Yangon, Mandalay, Shan State and Naypyitaw.

According to the figure compiled by the Hotels and Tourism Ministry, about one million foreign tourists visited Myanmar in 2012.

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