MYANMAR BURMA : Rolls Royce cars imported with “peace permits”


Rolls Royce cars imported with “peace permits”
Rolls Royce cars imported with “peace permits”


Rolls Royce cars imported with “peace permits”
Rolls Royce cars imported with “peace permits”

YANGON—The import of Rolls Royce cars on the basis of “peace permits” has continued on the Myanmar-Thai border because cars covered with cloth are not easily noticed, locals say.

The luxury cars, which are worth about half a million US dollars (Ks 490.5 million), were previously imported without covers. However, the government has recently suffered criticism for allegedly trying to reach ceasefire deals by offering armed ethnic groups “peace permits,” which offer exemptions from paying tax on car imports.

Yesterday, two Rolls Royce cars and one Lexus car were imported under cover through Myawady Township, according to local sources. So far, about 20 Rolls Royce cars have been imported tax-free under the peace permits.

If a Roll Royce car worth around US$ 500,000 is normally imported, it can cost up to Ks 1.3 billion (US$ 1.34 million). The total amount of taxes alone for that car will be more than Ks 850 million (US$ 0.87 million), as the import tax may cost Ks 196 million. The commercial tax would be Ks 171.5 million and the tax to the road transport department Ks 489 million.

When such a Rolls Royce is imported with a peace permit, the total cost will be within Ks 550 million (US$ 570,000). In addition to Rolls Royce vehicles, Bentley cars are also imported through the Thai border.

Nevertheless, armed ethnic groups usually sell the peace permits for money. Peace permits are now priced at between Ks 50 million (US$ 51,000) and Ks 150 million (US$ 154,000), sources say.

It is the car brokers who bought peace permits from ethnic groups, and enjoyed tax exemptions of as high as Ks 850 million (US$ 0.87 million) for each import of a luxury car. Selling the permits to others will lead to a huge loss of internal revenue, and the ethnic groups gain only the market price for the peace permits, observers say.

Local company allegedly imported missile-grade materials expires licence since 2008

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The Wan Hai 313, a cargo vessel from which aluminum alloy was seized in Tokyo in August, is seen in Kobe on Nov. 23. (Photo – Asahi Shimbun)


A local company that reportedly attempted to have imported missile-grade materials from North Korea is not a valid company for export/import activities since 2008, according to the Commerce Ministry.

Japanese authorities seized materials suitable for uranium enrichment aboard a cargo vessel docked at Tokyo Port on August 22, 2012, the Asahi Shimbun reported.

The shipment included about 50 metal pipes and 15 high-specification aluminum alloy bars, at least some of them offering the high strength needed in centrifuges for a nuclear weapons program, the report said.

International sources also said the cargo was loaded onto the 17,138-ton Wan Hai 215, a Singapore-registered cargo vessel operated by a Taiwanese shipping company, in Dalian of China on July 27.

On August 9, the cargo was offloaded and placed aboard the 27,800-ton Wan Hai 313 in Shekou, China.

On August 14, the cargo was scheduled to change ships once again in Malaysia and to reach Yangon Port the following day.

The Asahi Shimbun described that the cargo was to be delivered to Soe Ming Htike, a Yangon-based construction company, which the U.S. government believes is a front for Myanmar’s military procurement.

Regarding the allegation, director Zaw Htay of the President’s Office denied that it had nothing to do with Myanmar government but with the company (Soe Ming Htaik Company), quoted Yangon Times Journal as saying last month.

“After checking the company lists of the previous financial years, we found out that the company and export/import licenses of Soe Min Htaik Co have been invalid since 2008. It was also found that the company did not apply for license renewal,” an official from the Commerce Ministry said.

Soe Ming Htaik Company was reported to have imported China-made military trucks and military equipment over the past 20 years, sources close to that company said. CREDIT EMG