Failed Online Investment Scheme in Mon State Leads to Riots and Lawsuits

Shareholders sued the scheme’s founders for allegedly cheating them; the founders have filed a countersuit accusing them of destroying their property.

Friday, June 7, 2019

The collapse of an online investment scheme in Mon State has led to violence, the destruction of property and allegations of fraud.

Shareholders involved in the initiative in Lamai sub-township have sued the scheme’s salespersons for allegedly cheating them, and the salespersons have filed a countersuit against shareholders for reportedly destroying and looting their property.

The suit against the scheme’s founders—Mi Khaing Yin Mon and another scheme’s founder Mi Kyae Lar— accuses them of multiple counts of violating criminal acts 420 and 406, and Article 66(d) of the Telecommunications Law, which relates to online defamation.

“The couple is currently detained in the Ye Myoma police station,” police officer Myint Win told NMG.

According to Myint Win, the scheme—the salespersons need pay the investers at least 3 billion kyats.

However, Mi Khaing Yin Mon and her relatives are also filing suits, saying that those unhappy with the scheme destroyed homes belonging to her family and looted the residences. Her lawsuit accuses them of causing hundreds of millions of kyat in damage, and violating Criminal Act 395.

“We are inspecting this case and looking for suspects. We have already arrested some suspects,” police officer Myint Win said regarding Mi Khaing Yin Mon’s allegations.

Locals said that they have directed their dissatisfaction toward Mi Khaing Yin Mon because she has not returned the shareholders’ money, even though the scheme failed. They demanded withdrawal from the initiative on May 21. When she refused to refund them their investments, riots broke out in Lamai town on May 22, with a mob of shareholders assaulting Mi Khaing Yin Mon and her husband. Police intervened and increased security forces’ presence throughout the town.

Col Ne Htut Oo, minister of security and border affairs in Mon State told the media on June 4 that security forces would take action in accordance with the law if people start such riots again.