No-man’s land bootleggers ‘open as usual’ despite Myanmar clashes

MAE SOT, THAILAND   -   Fighting near the Myanmar-Thai border has sent thou­sands fleeing into Thai­land but hasn’t closed a lane of ramshackle shops in no-man’s land offer­ing bootlegged whisky, Chinese aphrodisiacs and Burmese cigarettes. Ky­aung Thet’s stall serves dozens of customers a day who buy Johnnie Walker Red Label for 380 baht ($10), handing the cash over barbed wire that runs between the towns of Mae Sot in Thai­land and Myawaddy in Myanmar. Clashes rocked Myawaddy this week, with the deep boom of shelling and the drone of Myanmar military jets in the skies heard over the border in Mae Sot. Kyaung Thet said he had been “scared” by the sounds but he and his wife had to earn a living selling their wares, which they said all came from Myanmar. “Every day we’ve been open,” he told AFP. Racier fare was to be had further along the raised concrete walkway. 

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