Friday, September 22, 2017

No softness for alleged erection drug vendors

Police have arrested two saleswomen for allegedly selling a banned drug used to combat male erectile dysfunction.

However, the owners of the stores have not been charged and remain free.

The two women – Ma Mei Yin Yin Khine, 23, and Ma Myint Myint Oo, 42, – were arrested by police at Taw Win Center and Sein Gay Har shopping centres in Dagon Township.

The two women were detained at the Dagon Township Police Station on charges relating to selling a banned drug, an offence that carries a maximum jail term of seven years, a police spokesperson said, adding that the arrests happened on February 16.

88 Generation Student Group member Ko Tun Tun Kyaw, said he heard of the case through a relative and feels the women have been treated unfairly.

“Ma Mei Yin Yin Khine is a colleague of my niece. That evening, Ma Mei Yin Yin Khine was on duty at the drug counter when police arrived and asked for a brand of drug. When Ma Mei Yin Yin Khine brought the drug out of the storeroom she was arrested,” said Ko Tun Tun Kyaw said.

Ko Tun Tun Kyaw said he also helped Ma Mei Yin Yin Khine to contact her family and has discussed the case with human rights activists on March 3.

“When my niece told me this information I felt very sad and went to the police station to see Ma Mei Yin Yin Khine,” he said.

“She told me that she had only worked at the store for a month and had no idea that some of the drugs it sold were illegal,” he added.

Police Lieutenant U Tun Tun Win said officers had no choice but to arrest the saleswomen.

“These two saleswomen were arrested because they had the illegal drugs in their hands, and according to the law we must arrest the people who have the drugs at the scene,” he said.

Lawyer and 88 Generation member Daw Nan Ei Ei Hlaing said: “This is clearly unfair on these women. They do not own the store and only work there. The police should take action against the owners because they decide what drugs are sold in the store.”

Daw Nan Ei Ei Hlaing is not representing the accused.

At a hearing at the Dagon Township Law Court the women were remanded in custody to prison until their trial begins on March 12. Police seized banned drugs from five stores in Yangon in raids conducted from February 14 to 16, a Yangon Region Police Force official said.