Resistance forces raid Mytel office in Monywa

Material seized from a Mytel office in Monywa is destroyed on August 3 (Monywa PDF)
Material seized from a Mytel office in Monywa is destroyed on August 3 (Monywa PDF)

An office of partly military-owned telecoms company Mytel was raided in Monywa on Tuesday, according to an alliance of anti-regime groups based in Sagaing Region’s largest city.

In a statement released a day after the raid, the groups said that they seized documents and equipment from the office, but did not harm employees.

“There were some people working there during the raid, but we didn’t touch them. We just made them promise to stop working there,” said an officer of the Monywa People’s Defence Force (PDF), one of the groups that took part in the raid.

According to the Monywa PDF officer, the resistance forces originally intended to target Mytel’s head office in the city, but abandoned that plan due to security concerns.

“The head office is always guarded, and given that it’s in a three-storey building, we thought they might have snipers there. That’s why we picked a different branch,” he said.

He added that the targeted office had been operating “discreetly” with 10 employees, half of whom were working at the time of the raid.

According to the groups’ statement, 100 Mytel wifi devices, four routers, four signal jammers, four laptops, and a number of business documents were seized in the raid and later destroyed.

The other groups involved in the raid were the Monywa People’s Administration Force and the Monywa People’s Security Force.

Mytel has been a frequent target of anti-regime groups formed in the wake of last year’s coup. One of Myanmar’s four national carriers, it is 28% owned by a company run by the Myanmar Economic Corporation, a military conglomerate.

A public boycott reportedly cost the company $25m in profits in the first three months after the military takeover. Many of its telecoms towers have also been destroyed by guerrilla groups.

Last November, a company executive, former military officer Thein Aung, was shot and killed near his home in Yangon.

In its statement, the Monywa PDF warned the public to stay away from Mytel and vowed to “eradicate” all of the pillars supporting the junta.

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