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Myanmar handed over three Chinese warlords to Beijing

Myanmar handed over three Chinese warlords to Beijing

Myanmar handed over three Chinese warlords to Beijing

Myanmar handed over three Chinese warlords to Beijing

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  • The move is part of the military-backed Chinese mafia’s downfall in Myanmar.
  • General Min Aung Hlaing, faced pressure from China to control scam centers.
  • China’s discomfort with the situation led to coordinated attacks against the military.
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Myanmar handed over three notorious Chinese warlords, Bai Suocheng, Wei Chaoren, and Liu Zhengxiang, to Beijing. These warlords, known for trafficking thousands of foreign nationals to run scams, led three of four families ruling Laukkaing on Myanmar’s north-eastern border with China.

A chartered flight transported them, along with seven others, to China in the latest twist of the military-backed Chinese mafia’s stunning downfall in Myanmar.

This development deals another blow to Myanmar’s weakening military regime, currently facing challenges on multiple fronts as it battles well-organized ethnic armies.

For years, China pressured the regime under General Min Aung Hlaing’s command to curb the scam centers in Laukkaing. These centers trapped and coerced individuals into running telephone and online scams that targeted victims globally.

China’s discomfort with the situation across its border prompted three insurgent armies to launch coordinated attacks against the military in late October of last year. This hastened the downfall of the mafia families, who had seized control of Laukkaing in 2009. Liu Guoxi, the leader of the fourth family, passed away in 2020.

China Ministry of Public Security:

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Over the years, their rule transformed a destitute Burmese border town into a hub of criminal activity, particularly for lucrative scam centers. The UN estimates that traffickers have brought hundreds of thousands of people into these centers across Southeast Asia.

“For a long time, multiple criminal groups… in northern Myanmar have openly organized armed fraud gangs and carried out fraud crimes against Chinese citizens,” China’s Ministry of Public Security said on Tuesday.

The ministry accused them of “multiple and severe violent crimes,” including murder, assault, and illegal detention.

In December, Beijing publicly offered a reward for these men and others in their network, labeling them as “ring leaders” and deploying a team to Myanmar to collaborate with local authorities.

Taking advantage of a vulnerable Myanmar army, China seized the opportunity to crack down on the scam compounds in Laukkaing. The Ministry of Public Security reported that about 44,000 people suspected to be involved in the scam centers have been handed over to China from Myanmar so far.

Tuesday’s development, the arrest of the three heads of the mafia families, was deemed by China as a “landmark achievement.” Chinese-language TV channels aired footage showing dozens of Swat (Special Weapons and Tactics Unit) officers escorting suspects off the plane in Kunming and into police vans.

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