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  1. #1
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    Chiang Rai:12 bodies have been found in the Mekong River

    Bangkok Post : Drugs 'cross from casino'

    Drugs 'cross from casino'Twelve bodies have been found in the Mekong River in Chiang Rai's Chiang Saen district.

    The bodies of three Chinese men, their hands tied and handcuffed behind their backs, were found on Friday, and another nine bodies, also thought to be Chinese, were found Saturday.

    Police said most of the nine bodies had also been blindfolded, tied and handcuffed.

    The dead men are believed to have crewed two Chinese-flagged cargo ships which were hijacked by drug traffickers on Wednesday.

    The bodies have been sent to Chiang Saen hospital for an autopsy.

    Pol Col Popkorn Khuncharoensuk, Chiang Saen police chief, said he would ask the Department of Special Investigation to step in.

    Authorities from the Chinese embassy had been informed of the discovery and on Saturday travelled to Chiang Saen to inspect the bodies.

    The grisly discovery has affected business in the district. Nikom Wiboonrungruang, a manager of Chiang Saen Shipping Company Ltd, said about 10 Chinese-flagged cargo ships were moored at Chiang Saen port as they dared not travel back to China due to safety concerns.

    The first find came on Friday when the body of a handcuffed Chinese man was found near the Chiang Saen port.

    Identified as Huang Yong, 30, he was the captain of the cargo ship Hua Ping, which was seized by soldiers of the Pa Muang task force during an anti-drug trafficking operation on the Mekong River on Wednesday after a clash with drug traffickers.

    His ship, which was carrying garlic and apples, and a second Chinese-flagged ship Yu Xing 8 Hao, which was transporting fuel, were thought to have been hijacked earlier by the traffickers.

    The attackers, who wanted to use the ships to smuggle drugs into Thailand from Burma, are thought to have killed Huang and his crew.

    Another two dead Chinese men were found later in the Mekong River.

    Their necks were broken and their faces covered with cloth, police said.

    The Pa Muang task force says it killed one suspected trafficker on the Yu Xing 8 Hao during the firefight.

    The others managed to flee overboard. The soldiers seized 520,000 speed pills kept in three sacks on the Hua Ping and 400,00 speed pills on the Yu Xing 8 Hao.

    The drugs were worth 100 million baht.

    A Chinese-owned casino near the Thai-Burmese border is suspected of being a transit point for drugs smuggled into Thailand, says the 3rd Region Army.

    Troops had seized methamphetamine pills from boats believed to have carried the drugs across from the casino, located on Burmese soil opposite Chiang Rai's Chiang Saen district, said 3rd army chief Wannathip Wongwai.

    The drugs were allegedly sent by the Burmese ethnic minority group the United Wa State Army (USWA).

    It is not known if the drugs found on the Chinese-flagged vessels came from the casino.

    EARLER REPORT:

    At least 12 people have been gruesomely murdered after Burma-based drug traffickers hijacked China-flagged ships on the Mekong to try to smuggle drugs into Thailand.

    A Chinese-owned casino near the Thai-Burmese border is suspected of being a transit point for the drugs, says the 3rd Region Army.

    Troops had seized methamphetamine pills from boats believed to have carried the drugs across from the casino, located on Burmese soil opposite Chiang Rai's Chiang Saen district, said 3rd army chief Wannathip Wongwai.

    The drugs were allegedly sent by the Burmese ethnic minority group the United Wa State Army (USWA).

    Its production plant has been relocated from the Thai-Burmese border to Pang Sang in Burma's Shan State, which is near the Chinese border, he said.

    "The Red Wa [UWSA] is producing drugs openly there, and is modernising Pang Sang," Lt Gen Wannathip said.

    But the drugs destined for Thailand continue to be seized by the 3rd army, he said.

    On Friday, the dead body of a handcuffed Chinese man was found near the Chiang Saen port.

    He was quickly identified as Huang Yong, 30, the captain of the China-flagged cargo ship Hua Ping, which was seized by soldiers of the Pa Muang task force during an anti-drug trafficking operation on the Mekong River on Wednesday.

    His ship, which was carrying garlic and apples, and another Chinese-flagged ship Yu Xing 8 Hao, which was transporting fuel, were thought to have been hijacked by drug traffickers.

    The attackers, who wanted to use the ships to smuggle their drugs into Thailand, are thought to have killed Huang and his crew.

    Another two dead Chinese men were found later in the Mekong River.

    Their necks were broken and their faces covered with cloth, police said.

    The Pa Muang task force clashed with suspected drug traffickers on the two ships. Troops believe they killed one suspected drug trafficker on the Yu Xing 8 Hao during the clashes. No one was found on the Hua Ping.

    The soldiers seized 520,000 speed pills kept in three sacks on the Hua Ping and 400,000 speed pills on the Yu Xing 8 Hao. The drugs were worth 100 million baht.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  2. #2

  3. #3
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    Did Taksin slip back in unnoticed??? This sounds like one of his operations.
    "If you kill enough of them, they stop fighting. "
    Gen. Curtis LeMay - Strategic Air Command

  4. #4
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    reads like a cut and paste from the mexican press.

    a disturbing development.

  5. #5
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    Bangkok Post : Shan drug kingpin blamed for 12 deaths in Mekong

    Shan drug kingpin blamed for 12 deaths in Mekong


    A gang run by Nor Kham, a Shan drug trafficker, is thought to be behind the grisly murders of 12 Chinese boat crew members whose bodies were found in the Mekong River, says the army.

    Maj Gen Prakarn Chonlayuth, commander of the Pa Muang Task Force, said the gang hijacks ships plying the river and demands protection money from them.

    If they refuse to pay, they kill the crew and take over the ships to deliver drugs from Burma to Thailand.

    The 12 men are thought to have crewed two Chinese- flagged cargo ships— Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8 Hao— which were hijacked and ransacked by traffickers in the river on Wednesday.

    Shortly after, the Pa Muang Task Force stopped the ships and clashed with the traffickers, who were still on board, in Chiang Rai's Chiang Saen district.

    The bodies of three Chinese men, their hands tied and handcuffed behind their backs, were found floating in the river in Chiang Saen district on Friday and another nine bodies, also thought to be Chinese, were found on Saturday in the same district.

    Most of the nine bodies had also been handcuffed, tied and blindfolded.

    One drugs trafficker on the Yu Xing 8 Hao was killed during the firefight with the task force. The others managed to flee overboard.

    The soldiers seized 520,000 methamphetamine pills from the Hua Ping and 400,000 methamphetamine pills from the Yu Xing 8 Hao.

    Maj Gen Prakarn said the vessels had been hijacked in the river, about 20km north of Chiang Saen.

    Nor Kham, 40, wanted on Thai and Burmese arrest warrants for drugs trafficking, had expanded his illegal activities to collect protection money from Chinese-flagged cargo ships a few years ago, he said.

    Authorities obtained intelligence that the Nor Kham drugs gang killed all crew members of any vessel which refused to pay the gang protection money. He believes that's what happened in this case.

    About 400 armed men are thought to belong to the Nor Kham drugs gang, said Permpong Chavalit, deputy secretary-general of the Office of the Narcotics Control Board.

    Pol Col Popkorn Khuncharoensuk, Chiang Saen police chief, said immigration police informed him there were 13 Chinese crew on the cargo ships. One member of the crew remains missing.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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    China voices concern after sailors killed on Mekong | Reuters

    China voices concern after sailors killed on Mekong

    BEIJING | Sun Oct 9, 2011 9:25pm EDT

    Oct 10 (Reuters) - At least 11 Chinese sailors were killed when their ships were attacked on the Mekong River between Thailand and Myanmar, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, voicing concern about what media reports said appeared to be an assault by drug smugglers.

    The sailors were on two cargo ships attacked on Oct. 5 in the "Golden Triangle" of the Mekong, a region of Southeast Asia notorious for narcotic production, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on its website (www.mfa.gov.cn) late on Sunday.

    As well as the 11 sailors killed, two were missing, said the ministry. But officials in Yunnan, the Chinese province next to Thailand and Myanmar, later said 12 were killed and one was missing, the China News Service said.

    Chinese sailors had been attacked and killed on the river before, it added, without giving details.

    China's growing presence in Asia, Africa and other parts of the world has prompted attacks, kidnappings and hijackings, and the issue has become a sensitive one for Chinese officials, who do not want to appear weak in protecting nationals.

    Beijing has "asked the countries concerned to take effective measures to strengthen protection of Chinese vessels and crew on the Mekong River", the Foreign Ministry said.

    Crew on another boat that witnessed the attack said eight or so armed men stormed the two ships, and in the days since Thai police have pulled bodies of the sailors from the river, said the China News Service.
    The attackers appeared to be drug smugglers who sought to use the seized ships to traffic narcotics, said the report, citing Thai media accounts.

    The Mekong snakes from China into Southeast Asia, where it forms part of Thailand's border with Myanmar and Laos, and in 2001 the four countries signed an agreement to regularize shipping on the river. The 4,900-km (3,050 mile) river also flows through Cambodia and Vietnam.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog

    A gang run by Nor Kham, a Shan drug trafficker, is thought to be behind the grisly murders of 12 Chinese boat crew members whose bodies were found in the Mekong River, says the army.
    definitely related

    https://teakdoor.com/thailand-and-asi...re-lesson.html (Golden Triangle : ‘Saturday Mekong massacre is a lesson’)

  8. #8
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    The question remaining is what were the sacks of drugs doing on the boat? The drug gang planted them? Why not take them with them when they left?
    Were the boats discovered drifting crewless? What were the circumstances surrounding the boarding of the boats by the authorities?
    This story raises more questions than it answers.

  9. #9
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    Is the Chinese-owned casino the one out there on an island in between Thailand and Laos? The island was just a big sandbar at one time and not on any maps.

    If so, what country controls that island?

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    The word round here is that it's directly related to this;

    https://teakdoor.com/thailand-and-asi...iang-kong.html (4 dead near Chiang Kong)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by StrontiumDog
    Pol Col Popkorn
    Seriously? There are people who are genuinely called Popkorn?
    The Above Post May Contain Strong Language, Flashing Lights, or Violent Scenes.

  12. #12
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    Pol Col Popkorn
    this ones even a kernel.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by taxexile View Post
    Pol Col Popkorn
    this ones even a kernel.
    Ha ha tax. Nice one.
    Born in the wrong country.

  14. #14
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    China suspends shipping after 13 slain

    China suspends shipping after 13 slain

    THE NATION, ASSOCIATED PRESS October 11, 2011 11:59 am

    China suspended ships going through the Golden Triangle yesterday after attacks by suspected drug traffickers on two Chinese cargo ships left 13 people dead or missing on the Mekong River.

    The bodies of 12 crew members were found near Chiang Rai on Friday and Saturday after the ships were hijacked Wednesday, the China Daily reported. Another body was found in the same area early yesterday, China's Xinhua news agency said.

    Most of the victims had been bound and blindfolded with adhesive tape and shot, the China Daily reported. The crew included two female cooks, it said.

    The Golden Triangle region, where the borders of Burma, Laos and Thailand meet, is notorious for the production and trafficking of heroin and other illicit drugs.

    Thai authorities seized both boats after a gun battle with the hijackers and found cargo that included speed pills worth Bt100 million, garlic, apples and fuel.

    Thai Army officials reportedly said a gang run by suspected ethnic Shan drug trafficker Nor Kham was believed to be behind the attacks. It said the gang demands protection money from ships it hijacks on the Mekong and kills crew members who refuse to cooperate.

    The boats were used to smuggle drugs from Burma to Thailand, the police said.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told a daily news conference yesterday China had suspended shipping from Yunnan down the Mekong and had sent a team to help investigate the killings. He said China had appealed to Thailand to boost security on the river.

    He put the number of dead at 11 crew, with another two missing.

    In April, three Chinese boats and 34 crew members were taken hostage by pirates along the Mekong in Burma but were safely rescued within days.

    In related news, Thai Narcotics Suppression Police yesterday announced two separate drug busts, in which they seized some 900,000 "ya ba" methamphetamine tablets.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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    Thailand willing to ensure safety of commercial ships on Mekong River with China

    Thailand willing to ensure safety of commercial ships on Mekong River with China

    English.news.cn
    2011-10-10 2003

    BANGKOK, Oct. 10 (Xinhua) -- District Chief Officer Sermsak Seesan of Thailand's northern Chiang Rai's Chiang Saen told Xinhua on Monday that he and other Thai authorities were ready and willing to help Chinese officials in the investigation over the hijacked ships and protection of Chinese ships.

    Thai authorities will cooperate with Chinese and Laos officers to protect commercial ships plying Mekong River in the future, said the chief officer, who is also the head of the investigation team.

    According to Sermsak, Thai police, relevant authorities, military together with Chinese police officers from Sipsongbanna ( Xishaungbanna) Prefecture and the media investigated the two ships again Monday morning. They found many bullet holes from M16 assault rifles and 9MM caliber scattered inside the ships.

    Sermsak unveiled that the investigation team believed the gang hijacked the ships to demand for protection money and killed all the crews to keep their mouth shut.

    The investigation team believed that the Tai Yai ethnic group, or Shan, drug trafficking gang led by Nor Kham was behind the attack as his gang is normally active in the areas along the border of Golden Triangle.

    Last Wednesday, Thai Pha Meung Task Force border troops captured two Chinese-flagged ships coded Yi Xing 8 Hao and Hua Ping and seized some 951,000 pills of methamphetamine on board after a gunfight of about half an hour with drug traffickers, in Chiang Saen District, bordering Myanmar. One drug trafficker was reported to have been killed.

    Thai authorities on Monday confirmed all the 13 Chinese crewmen on the two hijacked ships were killed.

    According to Thai military, Nor Kham, wanted on Thai and Myanmar arrest warrants for drugs trafficking, had expanded his illegal activities to collect protection money from Chinese- flagged cargo ships a few years ago.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by misskit View Post
    Is the Chinese-owned casino the one out there on an island in between Thailand and Laos? The island was just a big sandbar at one time and not on any maps.

    If so, what country controls that island?
    The Casino is on the other side of the river in Laos. Here's a photo I took while it was being built.


  17. #17
    Thailand Expat misskit's Avatar
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    ^Thanks, that's the one. Some locals told me that it used to be a sandbar that got bigger and bigger over the years. There was a great effort to reinforce the north end to keep it from washing away again and become a usable piece of land. That it hadn't shown up on maps until recently. I can see now from google maps that it is Laos.

    Just wondering why the police can only suspect it is a place for drug transport. Looks to me to be an easy place to watch, even if it is in Laos.

  18. #18
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    12 Chinese confirmed dead on Mekong River: FM spokesman

    12 Chinese confirmed dead on Mekong River: FM spokesman

    วันพุธ ที่ 12 ต.ค. 2554

    BEIJING, Oct 12 (Xinhua) -- China's Foreign Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that 12 Chinese were killed and one remains missing after two cargo ships, the Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8, were attacked and hijacked by an unknown group of armed men on the Mekong River on Oct. 5.

    Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said that China and Thailand have maintained close communication and cooperation in handling the incident.

    A working group dispatched by southwest China's Yunnan province has arrived in Chiang Saen County to assist the Chinese embassy in Thailand and consulate general in Chiang Mai in dealing with the aftermath of the incident, Liu said.

    He said that both China and Thailand attach great importance to the incident. The Chinese embassy in Thailand has repeatedly asked the Thai side to make every effort to investigate the incident and inform China of the results, facilitate the investigation and offer necessary assistance to Yunnan's working group and take action to ensure the safety of Chinese cargo ships and sailors stranded in Chiang Saen.

    Thailand said it will fully cooperate with China and do its utmost to ensure safety on the Mekong River in order to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future, Liu said.

    China has also asked Myanmar and Laos to help investigate the incident.

    As of Tuesday, more than 50 family members of the victims have arrived in Yunnan's Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture to prepare to enter Thailand to identify the bodies, according to an official from the prefectural government.

    The government is communicating with the family members and helping them process their visas.

    "My father just came home for a short reunion during the National Day holiday (Oct. 1 to 7). I did not know it would be the last time," said 29-year-old Qiu Jian, son of 58-year-old Qiu Jiahai.

    Qiu Jiahai was the chief engineer of the Hua Ping, starting his sailing career after graduating from school.

    "Rumors said my father was shot by drug dealers. I hope the authorities will find out the truth as soon as possible," Qiu said.

    Qiu said his greatest wish is to see his father for the last time in Thailand and to take him home.

    Wen Daixu, the brother-in-law of Yang Deyi, the missing captain of the Yu Xing 8, said Yang has been a sailor for 18 years and that he took his 18-year-old son with him wherever he went. The father and son were both killed in the attack, Wen said.

    Three of the victims were from neighboring Guizhou province. Their families have also arrived in Yunnan to prepare to enter Thailand.

    Cai Mei, daughter of murdered sailor Cai Fanghua, said she arrived in Jinghong County on Sunday with another 20 people from Guizhou and has been waiting for more information.

    "Dad always kept everything in his heart, rather than speaking out about it. I often asked him if his job was dangerous, and he always said no," Cai said.

    "Dad always called us to tell us he was safe, but this time, I didn't get his call," Cai said.

    Local government officials have visited the deceased sailors' families to try to comfort them.

    Shipping on the Mekong River has been suspended after the attack. One hundred and sixty-four Chinese crewmen and 28 cargo ships are currently stranded in Chiang Saen Port, according to an official from the Yunnan provincial government.

    A total of 116 of the 130 ships engaged in international shipping on the Mekong River are operated by Chinese companies, according to the Lancang River Maritime Affairs Bureau.

    The provincial maritime affairs department, along with relevant non-governmental organizations in Yunnan, have begun to help Chinese crewmen return to China safely and adopt proper measures to protect Chinese ships on the Mekong River.

    The Mekong River, known in China as the Lancang River, rises on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam to the South China Sea. It plays a crucial economic role among the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries. (Xinhua)
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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    Mekong killings: SSA wants to help
    Tuesday, 11 October 2011


    Naw Kham

    The Shan State Army (SSA)has pledged to lend a helping hand in the resolution of 4-year long issue of drug trafficking and protection racketeering in the Golden Triangle that culminated in the killing of 13 Chinese there last week. One of its senior officers told SHAN its offer to help since 2006 remains open. It came in response to requests from several well wishers. Requesting anonymity, the officer said the SSA had offered its cooperation to all countries concerned in the resolution of the drug problem.

    However, when it offered to turn over 1.1 million yaba (methamphetamine) pills it had seized on the Mekong on 6 February 2007, there was no country to accept them. “We couldn’t keep them either,” he explained. “So we invited the media to the SSA base (across Chiangrai province) on 6 June 2007 to witness the burning of all the drugs and report to the readers.”

    The result of the drug bonfire was the withdrawal of the SSA troops from Burma’s side of the Golden Triangle, which was taken over by the hitherto unknown Naw Kham, who has since became a fixture in the area.


    Chinese patrol boat shot up by gunmen believed to be followers of Naw Kham, 25 February 2008

    His predecessors: the Mong Tai Army (MTA) of the late Khun Sa, the United Wa State Army (UWSA) and the SSA South all failed in their efforts to set themselves up permanently in the Golden Triangle. All of them were pushed back to where they came from by the Burma Army. But undermanned and underarmed, Naw Kham was able to take control of areas surrounding the Triangle with remarkable ease. “The village headmen and local officials on the banks of Laos, Burma and Thailand seem to support him,” said a businessman in Shan State East. “The Burma Army also seems to be virtually powerless against him.” Naw Kham’s shooting spree began in February 2008 with a Chinese police speed boat. Since them all ships that ply the waters of the Mekong from north to south and back have been at the mercy of Naw Kham, a former Burma Army run People’s Militia Force chief in Tachilek.

    In the face of this formidable opposition, the SSA officer promises, “With adequate support, moral if not material, from those concerned, we will be able to help maintain peace and drug control along the river.”

    shanland.org

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    Chinese Mekong cargo ships escorted to Yunnan after deadly attack

    Chinese Mekong cargo ships escorted to Yunnan after deadly attack

    วันศุกร์ ที่ 14 ต.ค. 2554



    CHIANG RAI, Oct 14 – Twenty eight Chinese cargo ships left Thailand's Chiang Saen port on the Mekong River Friday morning for southern China, safeguarded by Chinese security personnel after two cargo ships were attacked last week, a senior Thai custom official said on Friday.

    The departures came after an unidentified group of armed men hijacked two Chinese cargo ships Oct 5, north of the Golden Triangle, within the Thai maritime jurisdiction and 13 crew were killed. Chinese captains dared not to navigate the Mekong River back to Yunnan and had docked at Chiang Saen port for more than a week.

    The Thai authorities have deployed police and soldiers to patrol the Mekong River in Thai territories.

    Surachart Chantawatcharakorn, a Chiang Saen customs officer in Chiang Rai, said there has been no confirmation when Chinese cargo ships will return to Chiang Saen port.

    Thai-Chinese trade in Chiang Saen district has halted, costing a loss of bilateral trade via the Chiang Saen Customs House worth more than the Bt2 billion (US$66 million) a month, the Thai customs officer said. (MCOT online news)
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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    Interview: Thai FM proposes four-country escorts on Mekong River to ensure safety

    Interview: Thai FM proposes four-country escorts on Mekong River to ensure safety

    English.news.cn
    2011-10-15 2316
    by Yang Dingdu

    CHIANG MAI, Thailand, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Thai Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul Saturday proposed joint escort operations from China, Thailand, Laos and Myanmar on Mekong River to ensure shipping safety after at least 12 Chinese sailors were hijacked and killed by suspected drug traffickers.

    "Joint escorts of commercial ships on Mekong River by vessels from the four countries could be a good solution to the problem," the Thai foreign minister told Xinhua.

    Thailand is willing to escort the ships if asked to do so, he said, adding that he will discuss the issue with his Myanmar counterpart in a visit on Oct. 24.

    At least 12 Chinese sailors on two cargo ships were killed in an attack by unidentified armed people on Oct. 5 on a section of Mekong River that forms the border of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar. One Chinese sailor is still missing.

    Surapong said the Thai government attaches great importance to the deaths of Chinese sailors and shipping safety on Mekong River. "This is a matter of great magnitude, it concerns the safety of sailors and also affects trade in the region."

    Thai-Chinese trade in Chiang Saen district has halted after the killing of Chinese sailors, costing a loss of 2 billion baht (66 million U.S. dollars) a month in bilateral trade via the Chiang Saen Customs House, said Surachart Chantawatcharakorn, an officer with the customs house.

    Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement Friday that the Thai government will cooperate with China in investigating the deaths of the sailors.

    A team of officials from China's ministries of foreign affairs, public security and transport arrived in Chiang Rai Province in north Thailand. Surapong said the Thai government will give convenience to the work of the Chinese team in Thailand.

    He said the Thai government has already been giving convenience to the work of Chinese authorities, including admitting and escorting the victims' family members. A total of 29 family members of the killed and missing sailors arrived in Thailand Friday night to morn the victims and conduct DNA tests. They left here for home on Saturday.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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    http://www.globaltimes.cn/NEWS/tabid...e-sailors.aspx

    Thailand, China to cooperate closely in probe into killing of Chinese sailors


    Global Times | October 16, 2011 20:50
    By Agencies

    Chinese and Thai authorities will closely cooperate with each other in investigating the killing of at least 12 Chinese sailors on a section of Mekong River earlier this month, senior Chinese and Thai officials said here on Sunday.

    "We hope the Thai authorities will continue to give every possible convenience to the Chinese work team in Thailand and strive for progress in investigation," said Guo Shaochun, head of a team of officials dispatched by the Chinese government for works related to the attack.

    The team is composed of officials from China's ministries of foreign affairs, public security and transport. They arrived in Chiang Rai Province in north Thailand on Saturday. Chinese officials and the Thai police conducted first joint investigation on the attacked ships Sunday morning in Chiang Rai's Chiang Saen district.

    The Chinese people, leaders and media are greatly concerned over the investigation of the attack. The Chinese and Thai authorities are obliged to solve the case and bring the killers to justice, said Guo, who is also deputy head of the Department of Consular Affairs of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    The Thai police will give full and proactive support to the work of the Chinese team and launch joint investigations to solve the case as soon as possible, said Pansiri Prapawat, Thailand's deputy police chief.

    The Thai police have attached great importance to the case and the concerns of the Chinese side. The police have set up a team of experts and heads of various police departments to investigate the incident, Pansiri said.

    At least 12 Chinese sailors on two cargo ships were killed in an attack by unidentified armed people on Oct. 5 on Mekong River. One Chinese sailor is still missing.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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    Stranded Chinese sailors escorted home from Thailand - People's Daily Online

    Stranded Chinese sailors escorted home from Thailand

    (Xinhua)

    09:56, October 17, 2011

    GUANLEI, Yunnan, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Dozens of Chinese sailors returned home Sunday under the escort of a Chinese patrol ship after being stranded in northern Thailand following a deadly cargo ship attack last week.

    A total of 11 cargo boats with 78 sailors on board began sailing into the Guanlei Port in the Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna in the southwestern province of Yunnan at around 3:40 p.m.

    They were greeted by crowds of anxious people, including their relatives, colleagues, local officials and residents.

    Firecrackers were set off in celebration, and banners reading "Welcome home!" and "Welcome back to the motherland!" were displayed along with national flags.

    They embraced their relatives tightly in tears as soon as they stepped on the Chinese soil.

    "We were very scared when we heard that our compatriots had been killed, and we did not dare to come back home by waterway at first," said a sailor surnamed Wu from the boat Jinshui 12.

    "We are back at last! Thank the nation! Thank the government!" he said.

    "The news photos showing the sailors' bodies floating on the river had frightened me a lot. I had been very worried that similar incidents would happen again," said Guo Dingxian, the wife of a sailor from the Xiding 8 boat.

    "I was happy to see our patrol boat going to Thailand to escort the sailors back. The motherland has given us strong support," she said.

    Twelve Chinese sailors were confirmed dead and one missing after two cargo ships, the Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8, were attacked and hijacked by an unknown group of armed men on Oct. 5 on the Mekong River.

    Out of safety concerns, 164 sailors had been living aboard 26 ships on the Mekong River in Chiang Saen since the attack.

    The other 15 ships and 86 sailors are heading to the Guanlei Port and will arrive there later.

    The sailors left Chiang Saen for China Friday morning under the protection of patrol vessels dispatched by Yunnan's local police bureau.

    China also asked the governments of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar to protect the sailors and ships, ensuring them a safe trip home.

    China on Thursday demanded swift action from the three Southeastern Asian nations in preventing additional attacks on Chinese nationals on the Mekong River.

    Vice Foreign Minister Song Tao summoned diplomatic envoys from the three countries and urged the countries to intensify their investigations on the deadly attack.

    "To see the police patrol boat was like to see the savior after we spent many days in torment in Thailand. We could finally have good meals and good sleep on the way back home," said Li Minglu, a sailor from the Baoshou 9 boat who first reported the attack to the Thai police.

    "I have been shocked and sad to see our compatriot killed. But I am also very proud that our country is strong and we have the capability to escort our stranded sailors back home safely," said Xi Yongqing, a maritime affairs official in Guanlei Port who joined in the escort mission.

    The Mekong River, known in China as the Lancang River, rises on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and flows through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam before spilling into the South China Sea. It plays a crucial economic role throughout the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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    Bangkok Post : USWA denies role in 12 Mekong deaths

    USWA denies role in 12 Mekong deaths

    The United Wa State Army has reportedly issued a statement denying it killed 12 Chinese nationals on two cargo vessels travelling along the Mekong River earlier this month.

    According to the statement. which was only available in China and not Thailand, the UWSA stated it had nothing to do with the killings and that they occurred outside areas under its control.

    The scene of the massacre _ a section of the river north of the Golden Triangle _ was under the supervision of Thai authorities, the statement reportedly said.

    The armed ethnic group is highly influential in Burma's Shan State, an area renowned for the production of illegal narcotics.

    It urged China to seriously investigate the incident and for Thai authorities to provide their cooperation.

    Both Thai and Chinese authorities say they are taking the case seriously.

    The Royal Thai Police Office sent deputy police chief Pol Gen Parnsiri Praphawat and a large team of investigators to Chiang Rai province to investigate the killings.

    The team includes officers from the Central Investigation Bureau, the Crime Suppression Division, the Marine Police, the Scientific Crime Detection Division, the Police General Hospital and the foreign affairs division of the Royal Thai Police Office.

    China has also dispatched a team led by Guo Shaochun, deputy director-general of its Department of Consular Affairs and head of the Centre for Consular Assistance and Protection, to conduct an investigation.

    The case involves the killing of 12 people _ including crewmen and family members _ who were aboard a Chinese oil tanker called the Hua Ping and a cargo boat called the Yu Xing 8.

    Thai soldiers patrolling a stretch of the Mekong found the boats in Chiang Saen district of Chiang Rai on Oct 5.

    On closer inspection they discovered a body on board one of the boats and 11 others in the water on both the Thai and Lao sides of the river.

    The soldiers also found 920,000 methamphetamine pills on the boats.

    The victims are believed to have been killed along a section of the Mekong which divides Burma and Laos, 15-20km north of Thailand's Chiang Saen district, which borders the two countries.

    Initially, investigators assumed nine assailants in four speedboats attacked the vessels, later sailing them towards Thai waters.

    The killings prompted China to call for better river transportation security and on Friday barred its cargo boats from plying that part of the Mekong River.

    Meanwhile, Lao and Burmese authorities held a local border meeting in Tachilek in Shan State yesterday, where they also discussed security issues along the Mekong.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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    Bangkok Post : Officers on murder charge

    Officers on murder charge

    CHIANG RAI : Nine army officers yesterday reported to police investigators to face charges in connection with the murder of 13 Chinese crew members on two ships, police said.

    The officers, all attached to the Pha Muang Task Force, were charged with murder and tampering with evidence. They denied the charges.

    The investigation into the nine officers was launched after 13 bodies were found in the Mekong River in Chiang Rai's Chiang Saen district.

    Following the nine officers turning themselves in, China's Vice Minister of Public Security Zhang Xinfeng yesterday met national police chief Pol Gen Priewpan Damapong to discuss developments in the case.

    The bodies were believed to be Chinese men on board the Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8 ships, which were attacked by armed men on Oct 5.

    The nine officers had boarded the ships after the attack and claimed that they found 920,000 amphetamine pills and one dead body.

    A few days later, the other bodies turned up in the river, most blindfolded, tied up and handcuffed.

    Chinese authorities have urged Thailand to delve deeper into the attack and suspend shipping operations in the river.

    Pol Gen Phanupong Singhara na Ayudhya, deputy national police chief, said yesterday a thorough investigation would be conducted.

    The Third Army is providing full cooperation in the investigation, he said.

    The nine suspects will be handed over to the army after questioning.

    It is reported that a second batch of suspects will be summoned for questioning soon.
    "Slavery is the daughter of darkness; an ignorant people is the blind instrument of its own destruction; ambition and intrigue take advantage of the credulity and inexperience of men who have no political, economic or civil knowledge. They mistake pure illusion for reality, license for freedom, treason for patriotism, vengeance for justice."-Simón Bolívar

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