Myanmar Police Interrogate Principal Suspect in Mekong River Murders
   2012-08-22 23:45:24    Xinhua      Web Editor: haipeng

The Ministry of Public Security said Wednesday that Myanmar police have arrived in southwest China's Yunnan province to interrogate a drug lord who is suspected of masterminding the murders of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River last year.

Naw Kham, the head of an armed drug gang believed to be associated with bandits who killed the Chinese sailors on Oct. 5 last year, was arrested on April 25 at an undisclosed location in Laos and was then extradited to China for an investigation and trial on May 10.

Myanmar has paid greater attention to the Oct. 5 case and will boost cooperation with related sides to crack down on transnational crime and maintain safety along the Mekong River, said a Myanmar police official.

Chinese police said a joint police investigation in China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand has revealed evidence indicating that Naw Kham, some core members of the gang and a small number of Thai soldiers planned and executed the murders.

In a July visit to Myanmar, Minister of Public Security Meng Jianzhu asked Myanmar authorities to cooperate with Chinese police to facilitate bringing the suspects to trial.

The ministry said Naw Kham's armed gang is believed to be behind 28 robberies and gun-related crimes directed at Chinese vessels and citizens since 2008. The crimes have resulted in 16 deaths and three injuries.

Senior cabinet members from the four countries met in Beijing on Oct. 31 last year and agreed to take joint action to crack down on cross-border crime and secure transportation along the Mekong River.

Under the framework of the "Law Enforcement Cooperation along the Mekong River Mechanism," the four countries have created new channels for intelligence exchanges, patrolling and law enforcement, as well as channels for tackling incidents that disrupt public order, combating transnational crime and dealing with emergency events.

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