The financial year 1916/1917 saw two major colonial administration buildings being completed. Both of them were designed by John Begg, Consulting Architect to the Government of India. One was the Government Telegraph Office, on which we reported yesterday. The other, today’s building, was the Custom House on Strand Road. Strategically located just across some of the city’s main wharfs, officials here were charged with collecting customs from commercial shipping. Some of the Customs staff were on call 24 hours and thus were assigned apartments on the top floor of the building. Sarah Rooney, in her “30 Heritage Buildings of Yangon”, explains the role of the “Rummaging Staff”. They were charged with searching for contraband on ships. The ingenuity of smugglers was astounding, although the officials knew their trade, too. Contraband drugs, gold, gems and other goods “were hidden behind bulkheads, inside ventilators, lifeboats, lavatory cisterns, bath and washbasin drainage bends, in remote spaces in cargo holds, the list is endless and they all had to be looked into.” The Custom House continues to be in use today, and there are usually droves of people out on the sidewalk waiting with papers in their hands. The building has been freshly repainted recently.