Godfather Naw Kham might get away with it in Thailand: Lawyer

A Thai court might acquit Golden Triangle Godfather Naw Kham if he had been tried in Thailand and not in China, according to a lawyer in Chiangmai.

Comparing Naw Kham, who is awaiting court decision in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, with a multi-murder suspect in Thailand whose story has captured the headlines for weeks, the lawyer, who asked not to be named, said:

  • The victims (of the said suspect in Thailand) were found in land owned by the suspect
  • Bullets were found in the victims’ remains
  • The suspect has a number of (unlicensed) firearms in his possession
  • The victims’ automobile was found in his land
  • There are witnesses to the alleged killings


Suspects of last year’s deadly attack on the Mekong River that left 13 Chinese sailors killed are on trial at the Kunming Intermediate People’s Court in Kunming, capital of Southwest China’s Yunnan province, Sept 20, 2012. Naw Kham from Myanmar, along with five other gang members, faced trial at the court. [Photo/Xinhua]


“By contrast,” he said, “the Mekong, where the 13 Chinese sailors were killed, does not belong to Naw Kham. Those who had been witnesses to his masterminding the killings were also the co-accused (who could be deemed as doing what they could to seek official pardon). And I have not heard weapons used in the killings had been produced as evidence during the trial. Had he been tried in a Thai court, these are not sufficient to convict him.”

He however admitted he knew very little about Chinese laws. “But members of his family should do what they can to help him,” he suggested. “They should hire a lawyer, if possible a Chinese lawyer, to find if he could get a lighter sentence.”

Naw Kham, who, from 2006 to until his capture in Laos in April, had been running a protection racket in the Golden Triangle, where Laos, Burma and Thailand meet. He has been charged of the killing of 13 Chinese sailors on 5 October 2011. 9 Thai military officers have also been accused of involvement in the murders.

Naw Kham and 5 of his aides went on trial on 20-21 September in Kunming. He has denied he had a hand in the killings. Sentencing, according to Xinhua, is to take place following review by a collegiate bench.


Thai NOK Mini Air to fly Mae Sot-Mawlamyine route

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Representatives from NOK Mini Air departing from Mawlamyine Airport on September 30
(Photo – Maung Maung Shwe Myine)

Published on Saturday, 06 October 2012

Thai commuter airline NOK Mini Air will be operating a direct flight between Mae Sot in Thailand and Mawlamyine, the capital of Mon state in Myanmar.

Hla Shein, chairman of Mon Trading Industry Association, told Eleven Media that airline representatives recently met with Mon state officials to discuss upgrading the Mawlamyine Airport and issues on visa, passport and hotel rates.

The chairman said the airline would likely start the flights within three months or so.

Flight time is 20 minutes and roundtrip airfare will cost around US$80.

Hla Shein also said Skyhub International Company will provide training on handling visa and passport issues.

During their visit to Mawlamyaing, NOK Mini Air representatives also visited the Mottama museum and Mottama Hill.

“They are interested in Mottama as they have historical records of communication between the old town and Thailand. The natural beauty of Mottama Hill is something they have never seen before so they are interested in investing in a hotel zone,” said Win Tun Oo, director of Skyhub International Company.

Mawlamyine was the first British capital between 1826 and 1852 after the Myanmar king lost in the First Anglo-Burmese War.

Old government buildings, churches, and clock towers built during the colonial era still remain in the city and could serve as tourist attractions for Westerners, according to Win Tun Oo.

Aside from the regular flights, NOK Mini Air is also planning to introduce tour packages that will include a visit to the Emerald Buddha in Thailand.