Murder of Eleven reporter in Monywa was premeditated: police

The murder of Eleven Media Group reporter Soe Moe Tun in Monywa earlier this week was premeditated, said Monywa Township Police Captain Thein Swe Myint yesterday.

Soe Moe Tun’s body was discovered beside a road in Monywa’s Aung Chantha Ward at 12:20am on Tuesday. He had sustained injuries to his head and face, and a skull fracture was identified as the cause of death.

Sagaing Region police are treating the case as a murder and have appointed a special team to investigate it.

“It seems as if the murder was plotted in advance. We investigated the crime scene and assigned a guard to prevent clues from being erased. The deceased was found face down. About five feet away from the body, we found clues that indicate that the body was discarded. We found a 1.22-meter-long stick, [the victim’s] bike helmet and slippers near the body this morning. We believe there are two suspects,” the police captain told Eleven.

“Soe Moe Tun had given us tip-offs in the past. He was honest. He had no criminal record. The murder was prepared very thoroughly. When the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) looked for forensic evidence, they didn’t find anything because the culprits removed their fingerprints from the stick. The CID is examining call lists in the victim’s cell phone. We are interrogating six people. He was murdered in the spot where we found his body. We are trying to find the culprits,” the police captain added.

Khin Cho Matt, the victim’s wife, told Eleven: “My husband has no enemies. The police found rope and a stick near his body. I assume he was tied up with the rope. The murderers beat his nose and eyes, according to the sheriff. I want the truth.”

“I met with him yesterday evening, before he was killed. I didn’t believe the news when his murder was reported. I thought it was a joke. We went to the scene after that. I think it is a warning to reporters from cronies.  We were reporting on a robbery case at the Monywa Institute of Economics, but his death is not related to that case,” a colleague of Soe Moe Tun’s told Eleven.

Soe Moe Tun had worked for Eleven since 2015 and had reported on Monywa, its surrounding areas, the Letpadaungtaung copper mine project and the illegal logging industry.

“My son is very honest like his father. He was doing his work for the benefit of others. I feel grief, and I am sad for my son,” said the victim’s mother Ye Ye Htay.

“He had no enemies. I met with him six days ago. He was reporting the truth. There may be people who are displeased with his reporting. We didn’t think he would be killed. We feel sad for him,” said a Monywa resident.

Soe Moe Tun had recently reported about the increasing number of KTVs in Monywa and had submitted a complaint letter to the Sagaing Region chief minister to prevent the opening of more illegal KTVs, according to local reporters. Local reporters and Soe Moe Tun’s acquaintances believe his murder is related to his KTV reports.

Soe Moe Tun’s funeral was held at Sarkyin Cemetery in Monywa at 3pm on Wednesday, according to Eleven.

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