Ta’ang National Liberation Army has continued taxing passengers and car drivers passing on the main road between Kutkhai and Muse township, northern Shan State, on May 18 morning.
The TNLA troops captured the union road between Muse and Kutkhai townships and set up a checkpoint at Parngsalong, Nam Pak Gar, about 15 miles from Kutkhai township.
Every vehicle was charged if they could not provide a receipt from the previous payment.
“I came from Lashio and headed to Muse this morning when I got stopped by the TNLA troops at about 8 am,” said a car driver called Sai Nong. “I had to pay them the car tax”.
He said, “People were calling their relatives or friends, telling them not to come on this way. Large trucks from both Muse or Lashio decided not to pass. Many trucks had to stop on the way, to wait until they stopped collecting.”
“We were supposed to be in Muse by noon to have our lunch. Because of this we arrived at 3 pm,” said one of the passengers U Ar Lee to SHAN. “This caused a lot trouble for the citizens.”
“I have no idea what is going on in our country. When the government troops collect money they call it “passing fees “. When ethnic armed groups do it, they call it “fundraising”. In any case, we have to pay both groups,” he said.
The tax range was according to the size of the vehicle; 20,000 kyats for a small car, 50,000 to 100,000 kyats for a bigger car, but 300,000 kyat for a twelve-wheel truck and twenty-two-wheel trucks or above had to pay between 500,000 to one million kyats.