Dealers hurt by jade arrests

The dealers of uncut jade pieces in Hpakant Township, Kachin State, say they are hurt by continuous jade arrests.

The arrests began this year where the police and army inspect cars and motorcycles at the city gates for uncut jade pieces. The dealers say they have to pay money to recollect the confiscated jade later.

U Myo from Lonekhin village-tract said: “I’m a dealer. We have to be extra cautious just to display our pieces at the market. One of my broker friends got the jade pieces seized and had to compensate the owner. So brokers are troubled. Formerly the authorities arrested only when the jade was carried outside Hpakant. Now they are arresting for deals inside the town.

Section 42(a) of the Gem Law stipulates that anyone who possesses uncut gemstones is subject to maximum jail term of seven years or a fine.

Many Hpakant residents have demanded the government abolish the clause.

A Hpakant resident said: “If the law is to be enforced, anyone in Hpakant can get arrested because every household has [uncut] gem stones. The government should either repeal or reform the law or issue licences.”

Source: Eleven