Suspect in fishermen killing handed over to China
Updated: 2012-05-10 14:37
By Cheng Guangjin (chinadaily.com.cn)
Alleged Golden Triangle godfather Naw Kham was handed over to Chinese police this morning at Vientiane airport, Laos.
Evidence shows that Kham and his men, together with some Thail soldiers, were behind the killing of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River on Oct 5 last year, Liu Yuejin, head of the Drug Control Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security, told reporters in a CCTV broadcast.
The report also showed a brief ceremony in which a Memorandum of Understanding was signed for China-Laos drug control cooperation. It was attended by police officers from China and Laos.
Kham was later taken into the same room in which the ceremony was held. He was handcuffed and knelt down on the floor while his identity was confirmed.
Later Kham was put on a chartered plane sent from China to Vientiane.
Liu said Kham will be taken back to China for trial alongside other suspects who have been interviewed by Chinese police about the crime.
Kham is an ethnic Shan from Myanmar, who was allegedly a former aide of late drug warlord Khun Sa — the former leader of the now defunct Shan rebel Mong Thai Army, according to Shanghai Daily, an English newspaper based in Shanghai.
He is said to lead a private militia that for the past five years has terrorized crews of vessels sailing a narrow stretch of the Mekong between Laos and Myanmar, the paper reported.
He also became China's most wanted suspected criminal because Beijing believes he was responsible for an attack against a Chinese boat on the Mekong River on Oct 5 which killed 13 crewmen, the newspaper said.
China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand began carrying out joint security operations to pursue "criminal organizations" operating on the Mekong River after the killing of the Chinese sailors.