Nearly a hundred Thai mobile phones of local residents from Mongton township, opposite Chiangmai’s Chiangdao district, have been seized by local authorities in almost a two-weeklong crackdown, sources from the border said.
“Over 60 mobile phones including their sim cards from Pongpakhem sub township alone were seized by the local authorities since the election period,” a source from a village close to the border said. “Some phone owners were even summoned to meet top officers from the Burma Army base to be questioned.”
Reasons for the seizure were not clear and the authorities have not bothered to explain, according to the sources.
However, most people commented that one of the reasons could be due to several media reports coming out from the area the past few months. “During these days, lots of news stories over right abuses from the area were aired and reported by the exiled media,” another source said.
According to a border watcher, it is clear that the ruling military junta want to restrict the flow of information and networking among the people.
“Another reason is they are finding ways to get more bribes from the people. They want to raise the price. People have been asked to pay more money to be allowed to use the phone,” he said.
Nowadays, many border residents both on the Thai-Burma border and the Sino-Burma have been widely using Thailand made mobile phones and China made mobile phones as they cost less compared to mobile phones provided by the ruling military junta, according to local sources.