The home affairs ministry has refused to confirm where U San Sint is being held, as rumours swirled that the former minister for religious affairs is neither at his home or in Yamethin Prison as previously reported.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Home Affairs began investigating some private newspapers, including a journal linked to the former minister, who was sacked by the government on June 19 and charged with corruption.

Deputy Minister for Home Affairs Minister Brigadier General Kyaw Kyaw Tun refused to discuss on the case when approached by reporters in parliament on June 23.

“We can’t say anything about it. We have organised an information team including [presidential spokesperson] U Ye Htut. The group will make public announcements when they have information to release,” he said.

In recent days staff from several private newspapers have been summoned by the ministry to answer questions on their circulation. One of them, Myanmar Thandaw Sint, was closely linked to the former minister, and carried comments from him critical of the June 10 raid on Mahasantisukha Monastery.

Staff from Myanmar Thandaw Sint have reportedly rejected any link with the former minister.

Brigadier general Kyaw Kyaw Tun confirmed that the ministry has asked some daily newspapers and weekly journals to provide information on circulation figures.

“It’s just a discussion, not an investigation,” he said. “Some journals are successful businesses and some are not. We asked them what the basic reasons for this are.”

The government cited U San Sint’s opposition to the June 10 raid as a major factor in his sacking, with U Ye Htut describing it as “the final straw”. He also accused the minister of regularly defying President U Thein Sein’s instructions.

U San Sint is the first minister during U Thein Sein’s time in charge to have been publicly charged with corruption and is accused of misusing about US$10,000.

In January 2013, then-Minister for Communication U Thein Tun was removed from office for alleged  price manipulation of SIM cards but, as The Myanmar Times reported earlier this month, he was never officially charged and the investigation has been held up within the Ministry of Home Affairs.