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'Rude' beauty queen 'runs off with €150,000 crown'

A Myanmar beauty queen who was stripped of her title for allegedly being rude and dishonest has run off with the $200,000 (€150,000) jewelled tiara, a South Korea-based pageant has said.

Myanmar, which only recently emerged from a half-century of military rule, began sending contestants to international beauty pageants for the first time in decades in 2012.

May Myat Noe (inset) was crowned Miss Asia Pacific World in Seoul last May. However, David Kim, the pageant's director of media, said the 18-year-old was a disappointment.

According to an online Myanmar newspaper, she is back home.

Following her success, the organisers said they were arranging singing and video deals for her. But they also wanted to change the teenager's looks.

"We thought she should be more beautiful, so as soon as she arrived we sent her to the hospital to operate on her breasts," said Kim, adding that sponsors picked up the $10,000 tab.

Kim said all the troubles started from there. The beauty queen brought her mother with her to Seoul for what was supposed to be a 10-day visit, but that quickly turned into three months, incurring extra hotel and other costs to the organisers.


Noe was notified earlier this week that she would have to give up her title and the crown, Kim said, adding that she then absconded with the specially-commissioned bejewelled Swarovski tiara.

"Everyone knows she is no longer the queen, but she thinks that as long as she keeps this crown she's the winner," he said. "But she's not."