Former Myanmar telecoms minister faces probe - sources

YANGON Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:14am IST

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YANGON (Reuters) - Myanmar has launched an investigation into malpractice in the telecoms ministry and will question Thein Tun, who resigned as minister this month, along with top civil servants, a senior government official and two other sources said on Thursday.

"About 50 senior officials from the Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology, including former minister Thein Tun, are facing inquiries in connection with malpractice in the nationwide telecommunications network," the official, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.

Two other sources with knowledge of developments confirmed an investigation was under way but, like the official, declined to be identified because of the sensitivity of the issue.

None of the sources was able to confirm a report by U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia that the former minister was under house arrest. A spokesman for President Thein Sein was not immediately available for comment.

Thein Sein, who has overseen sweeping political and economic reforms since taking office in March 2011 after decades of military rule, said in December that Myanmar fell short in terms of good governance and promised a shake-up.

Thein Tun stepped down earlier this month for unexplained reasons.

A new telecoms law is working its way through parliament but the government has already embarked on plans to modernise the sector, inviting expressions of interest this month from companies for two new operating licences.

(Reporting by Aung Hla Tun; Writing by Alan Raybould; Editing by Martin Petty and Jeremy Laurence)

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