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Belt and Road

Myanmar to probe casinos in China-backed developer's 'rogue city'

$15bn planned community accused of flouting government rules

A casino is seen near the Thai border in Myawaddy, Karen State in Myanmar. 

YANGON -- A $15 billion urban development project in Myanmar near the Thai border has been a source of controversy from the very start, underscoring the pitfalls of lax regulatory oversight in Southeast Asia's last frontier market.

Shwe Kokko New City will cover 120 sq. kilometers, replete with resort areas and a financial district, according to the website of Hong Kong-registered developer Yatai International Holding Group. Yet the original permit issued in 2018 authorized a luxury housing development covering 0.1 sq. km.

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