Burmese security officers are refusing to hand over to Chinese authorities a top drug gang suspect in the murder of 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River last year.
Chinese authorities reportedly believe Sai Aung Myat is the one who carried out the executions on October 5, but his release from custody is imminent, said a source close to both his family and local Burmese authorities, according to an article by the Shan Herald on Tuesday.
Sai Aung Myat aka Zien Hong, 42, underwent interrogation by Chinese investigators for two days early this month in Kengtung.
He rejected the Chinese authorities claim that he had executed the Chinese sailors upon an order from his boss, Sai Naw Kham, 43, who is being held in Xixuangbanna, China, after his extradition from Laos in May. He was arrested there on April 25.
From 2006 until his capture, Naw Kham had been part of a gang running what some called “an insurance company” for drug smugglers and boats plying the Mekong River, said the news agency.
Thai authorities have charged nine Thai military officers and one Thai businessman with complicity in the murders.
Burmese authorities refused to hand over Sai Aung Myat to their Chinese counterparts, saying that he had voluntarily surrendered and not been captured like Naw Kham.