Home of Golden Triangle Godfather’s suspected partner raided

The home in Maesai, opposite Tachilek, of Jamras Phacharoen, better known as Pu Nuad (“Moustache”), believed to be a close associate of Naw Kham, head of the protection racket in the Golden Triangle, was raided by joint Thai and Burmese officials yesterday, according to sources from the Thai-Burma border.

naw-kham11Naw Kham

It was reportedly in connection with the drug bust in Laos’ Kings Romans Casino on Monday, 26 September, by Laotian and Chinese officials. The operation had netted 20 sacks of drugs, B 50 million ($1.7 million) and a number of suspects including 6 Thais, according to Thailand’s deputy prime minister Chalerm Yubamroong.

The said Thais were said to be followers of Pu Nuad, who had also been running the gaming operations at the casino.

Pu Nuad, about 58, is a native of Maesai. He is married to a Shan, a native of Kengtung’s Mongyang township. He is also the chairperson of the Chao Khrua Tai (Tai Race) Society.

The officials did not find him at his home in Tambon Pamued Soi 3. (Correction: He was at home, but nothing incriminating was found.)

Pu Nuad was said to have served as a go between after a group of gunmen, believed to be members of Naw Kham’s racket, kidnapped 19 Chinese workers from the casino compound on 4 April.

Three of Naw Kham’s men are also under Thai police custody, after they had sought medical treatment in Thailand in the wake of a shootout with joint Burmese-Lao security forces on 22 September. Burmese authorities have demanded they be extradited to Burmese territory.

Kings Romans in Tonpheung, Bokeo Province, Laos, is owned by Zhao Wei, a native of Helongjiang province, China. He had for a number of years operated the Landong casino in Mongla, in the territory controlled by the ceasefire group National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA) of Sai Leun aka Lin Mingxian.

As for Naw Kham, he has been successfully evading the clutches of law enforcement officers from Burma, Laos, Thailand and China since he went underground following the raid of his home in Tachilek on 10 January 2006. The raid resulted in the capture of “countless number of methamphetamine tablets, the amount, if sold, could have bought the whole town,” according to local militia sources.

Since then ships plying the Mekong and drug smugglers crisscrossing it have been paying protection to him. “I hope no one catches him,” said a local villager. “He has been really good to us.”

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