Myanmar Hands Over Ten Chinese Warlords To China


Jan 31, 2024

Myanmar has handed over three Chinese warlords to Beijing, who were notorious for trafficking thousands of foreign nationals to forcibly run scams.

Bai Suocheng, Wei Chaoren and Liu Zhengxiang led three of four families which ruled Laukkaing on Myanmar’s north-eastern border with China.

They were taken to China on a chartered flight, with seven others.

This is the latest twist in the stunning downfall of the military-backed Chinese mafia in Myanmar.

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And it’s yet another blow for Myanmar’s military regime, whose power is waning.

Myanmar’s army, which had been locked in a brutal stalemate since it sized power in early 2021, is now losing as it battles well-organised ethnic armies on more than one front.

General Min Aung Hlaing is known to have supported the Chinese mafia in Laukkaing. For years, China had been pressing his regime to rein in the scam centres, where people are trapped and forced to run telephone and online scams targeting victims everywhere.

China’s unease at what was happening across its border encouraged three insurgent armies to launch coordinated attacks against the military in late October last year – and it hastened the fall of the mafia families.
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The four families took over control of Laukkaing in 2009. Liu Guoxi, who led the fourth family, died in 2020.

Over the years, their reign turned a poor Burmese border town into a den of criminal activity, especially for lucrative scam centres. The UN estimates that hundreds of thousand of people have been trafficked into these centres across South East Asia.

They are also accused of “multiple and severe violent crimes”, the ministry said, such as murder, assault and illegal detention.

In December, Beijing issued a public reward for these men and others in their network, describing them as “ring leaders” and sent a team to Myanmar to work with local authorities there.

A vulnerable Myanmar army allowed China the opportunity to crack down on the scam compounds in Laukkaing.
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About 44,000 people suspected to be involved in the scam centres have been handed over to China from Myanmar so far, the Ministry of Public Security said.

But China called Tuesday’s development – the arrest of the three heads of the mafia families – a “landmark achievement”.

Footage aired on Chinese-language TV channels show dozens of Swat (Special Weapons and Tactics Unit) officers escorting suspects down the plane in Kunming and into police vans.

Credit (TVC)

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