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Myanmar beauty queen accused of stealing $100K tiara

August 31, 2014
FILE - In this June 5, 2014 file photo, Myanmar model May Myat Noe, winner of Miss Asia Pacific World 2014 pageant, waves a miniature flag of the country upon her arrival at Yangon International Airport in Yangon, Myanmar. The first Myanmar national to win an international pageant has been stripped of her title for being rude and dishonest, and has allegedly run off with the expensive crown and breast implants. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

FILE – In this June 5, 2014 file photo, Myanmar model May Myat Noe, winner of Miss Asia Pacific World 2014 pageant, waves a miniature flag of the country upon her arrival at Yangon International Airport in Yangon, Myanmar. The first Myanmar national to win an international pageant has been stripped of her title for being rude and dishonest, and has allegedly run off with the expensive crown and breast implants. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

By Jung Min-ho

A nasty dispute has erupted between the organizers of Miss Asia Pacific World, an international beauty contest recently held in Seoul, and the contest’s winner, who has accused the event’s team of forcing her to undergo breast enlargement surgery.

May Myat Noe, 18, has returned to her home country of Myanmar with the winner’s tiara, worth $100,000, according to the pageant’s organizers. She was stripped of her title on Aug. 26 for being “rude and dishonest.”

The organizers said that they were considering reporting her to police. As of Sunday, no report had been filed.

She reportedly claimed that they pushed her to have the surgery to make her debut as a “K-pop star.” She is said to be planning to hold a news conference Tuesday.

But the organizers believe that she “will lie again,” saying they never forced her to have the surgery.

“She will cry in front of reporters and claim she was the victim,” Young Choi, founder of the competition, told The Korea Times. “In fact, she is the one lying about what happened.”

Choi said it is the organizers’ “responsibility” to help the winner get the look she wants through plastic surgery before making her debut as a singer in Korea but she “was also entitled to refuse it as the deal was contracted that way.”

Choi said the troubles started when she wanted to bring her mother with her to Seoul after winning the competition on May 31.

“She was supposed to come back in August by herself,” Choi said. “But she asked us to pay for her mother’s airplane ticket, too. We turned the request down. But she insisted and eventually brought her mother here on Aug. 19,” Choi said.

The organizers sent them to a hospital in Busan for the surgery. There, Choi claimed, “they asked for too many things such as stuff they wanted to buy and food they wanted to eat.”

“Most importantly, we could not trust her as she was full of whims,” he said.

Choi said he is concerned about Koreans living in Myanmar as the “unfortunate incident” may hurt diplomatic relations between Korea and the country.

As Noe was dethroned, the winning title will go to Korea’s Kim E-ea, first runner-up. Yet they still have to retrieve the tiara and sash.

This is not the first scandal that the event organizers have had to deal with.

In 2011, Amy Willerton from Wales claimed the pageant had been fixed after the girl representing Venezuela was apparently chosen as a runner-up in the talent round before she had competed.

Willerton also claimed that the organizers offered automatic top-ranking placements to some contestants in exchange for sex.

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