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Bangladeshis arrested entering Myanmar as fake Buddhist monks

July 10, 2013

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Myanmar’s police are questioning two Bangladeshi citizens who were arrested on Tuesday under suspicion of staying at a guesthouse in Yangon disguised as Buddhist monks, according to a high-ranking police official.

Police arrested Parsujait Barua, aged 27 and Antar Barua, aged 29 while they were staying in at Polo Guesthouse in Pabedan Township disguised as Buddhist monks. They reportedly flew to Yangon from Dakar via Thailand and police are investigating whether they were planning destructive acts.

“It is true we have arrested and are questioning two suspects disguised as Buddhist monks. But we are still investigating whether they have a bomb plot or not,” said Police Lieutenant Colonel Win Kyi.

According to the police, the two suspects arrived in Yangon on a Myanmar Airways flight at 9.30am on Tuesday. They were contacted by a Muslim couple who were to arrange for their onward travel to Malaysia. The police are searching for the couple and have confiscated the materials, passports and mobile phones from the two suspects.

The night shift manager from the Polo Guesthouse, Aung Kyaw told Eleven Media that the two Bangladeshi’s checked into the hostel in the morning and were arrested the very same afternoon.

“They checked in at the guesthouse this morning. In the afternoon, they were arrested by police. Our morning shift manager Tin Maung Myint was also taken to be questioned by police.”

After contacting the guesthouse owner, he said they allowed the two Bangladeshis to stay there after checking their passports.

“I don’t know whether they came in yellow robes or civilian clothes,” he said.

The incident comes as the government tightens security around Myanmar’s main Buddhist sites including the famed Shwedagon Pagoda in central Yangon, following a series of bomb blasts on Sunday at Bodh Gaya in northern India, one of Buddhism’s holiest sites.

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