Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Burmese drug gang leader set for trial in Yunnan

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Tuesday, 18 September 2012 14:04 Mizzima News  

Naw Kham, who is accused of masterminding last years' deadly attack on the Mekong River that left 13 Chinese sailors killed, will go on trial this week, a court in southwest China's Yunnan Province said on Monday.

Naw Kham in Chinese custody Photo: screenshot

Naw Kham, the head of an armed drug gang, along with five others, will stand trial on Thursday at the Intermediate People's Court of Kunming City, capital of Yunnan Province, the court said.

They were charged with crimes of intentional homicide, drug trafficking, kidnapping and ship hijacking by the Kunming City People's Procuratorate, said the Xinhua news agency.

Naw Kham was arrested on April 25 in Laos and sent to China via a chartered plane on May 10.

A joint investigation by police from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand has said that Naw Kham, core members of the gang and a small number of Thai soldiers planned and conducted the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on two cargo ships on Oct. 5 last year in an area known as the Golden Triangle on the Mekong River.

With a length of almost 5,000 km, the Mekong River, known in China as the Lancang River, is one of the most important waterways in southeast Asia, linking the countries of China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. It plays a crucial economic role among the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries.

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