Mekong River attack suspects on trial Published: 2012-11-6 14:59:00

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Principal suspect of Mekong River attack Naw Kham sentencedto death: court verdict

Suspected drug lord Naw Kham and other 5 defendants, accused of masterminding last year's deadly attack on the Mekong River, are now facing trial in Kunming, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan Province. 13 Chinese sailors were killled.

Naw Kham is the head of the drug gang. He faces charges of orchestrating the murder of 13 Chinese sailors who were killed last October while patrolling the Mekong River. The criminal group is notorious for its activities along the key regional waterway.

Naw Kham was arrested in Laos on April 25 and extradited to China the following month. He faces the death penalty if convicted. Five other suspects are also being tried. Three Lao police officers and ten Thai police officers and civilians will appear to testify.

Source: CNTV


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Mekong River attack suspects' trial opens in Yunnan
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Principal suspect of deadly Mekong River attack to face trial

          Incident Review


On October 28, 2011, the Thai police announced that 9 Thai soldiers were responsible for the killing of 13 Chinese sailors.

In October, 2011, nine army men have turned themselves in and confessed to killing 13 Chinese sailors on Mekong River in Golden Triangle.

On April 25, Naw Kham, the principal suspect of the deadly attack on the Mekong River, dubbed "Godfather" for running one of the most notorious armed drug rings on the section of the Mekong River near the China-Myanmar-Laos borders, was arrested at an undisclosed location and sent to China via a chartered plane.

On July 2, the Thai police said they have issued arrest warrants for nine soldiers over suspected involvement in the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on Mekong River last year.


Concerns over the safety situation in the Gloden Triangle

There have been many instances of robbery involving Chinese freighters and pleasure boats in the waters bordering Myanmar and Laos. The Chinese consulate in Chiang Mai, Thailand, told Chinese citizens in August to avoid working or traveling on these waters.

Given that the Golden Triangle area of the Mekong River has poor oversight and some local people believe that Chinese goods are taking over the market share of their own brands, more and more Chinese ships have been targeted by gangs.

Although Naw Kham has been arrested, the security problems along the Mekong River have not been solved yet.

Naw Kham is neither the largest drug trafficker nor the only drug trafficker in the Golden Triangle. There are still many other drug traffickers who we don't know or who haven't offended Chinese citizens yet.

Moreover, the residents in the Golden Triangle have been living in reduced circumstances. The local governments cannot solve the problem of poverty. Local residents may make reckless moves under this desperate situation.

What did the governments do to ensure safe voyage on Mekong River after the deadly attack?

China, Laos vow to improve law enforcement along Mekong
China launches joint patrols along the Mekong River with neighbors
China mulls armed escort on Mekong River
Mekong countries to boost river security cooperation
Joint patrol along Mekong River sets new model of regional co-op 

GT Comments

The cracking down of the case and the trial of the foreign suspects deserve applause from Chinese society. In the judicial collaboration among China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, there are witnesses from all four countries. Differences in language, legal framework and investigation procedures also made the case a bewildering mystery. More

The unsatisfactorily slow process in the investigation and prosecution of these crimes shouldn't be blamed on China. It was China's resolute attitude of pursuing the murders that makes it possible for the facts of the case to be dug out. After the Mekong River tragedy, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao attached great importance to this issue, and Meng instantly rushed to Thailand. More

A nation's diplomatic image and national strength are vital to the protection of its people abroad. As China doesn't interfere in the domestic issues of other countries, it maintains a relatively good image in most areas of conflict or unrest. More

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