Beijing: China on Friday executed a Myanmar’s drug lord along with three other accomplices from Thailand and Laos, for murdering 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River in 2011, official media reported.

Naw Kham and three of his accomplices, identified as Hsang Kham, (Thailand) Yi Lai, (state less) and Zha Xika (Laos), were executed by lethal injection in the city of Kunming in southwest China's Yunnan Province, according to the Intermediate People's Court of Kunming.

The gang was found guilty of masterminding and colluding with Thai soldiers in an attack on two Chinese cargo ships on the Mekong River on October 5, 2011. The executions took place after the Supreme Court rejected their appeals, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

The men were apprehended in a joint operation of police from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand, early last year. The 100-strong gang was reported to have been involved in drug trafficking, kidnapping and murder along the Mekong.

Since 2008, they launched 28 attacks against Chinese cargo ships on the river, killing 16 Chinese citizens and injuring three, according to police. On the day of the crime, 13 Chinese sailors were murdered and their bodies thrown into the Mekong after two Chinese cargo ships, the Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8 were hijacked.

The gang colluded with Thai soldiers to carry out the attack, police said. Narcotics were placed on the Chinese ships to make it look like a drug hit.

China conducted their trial quoting international conventions stating that the crimes occurred on two Chinese registered ships flying the Chinese flag and so the trial could be held on Chinese territory.

Naw Kham denied the charges or any involvement in the murder of the sailors and he had also offered compensation of 6 million yuan (USD 964,000) to the families of the victims.

The four men were sentenced to death on November 6 last year after being convicted of intentional homicide, kidnapping, transporting drugs and hijacking cargo ships. Two other gang members were also sentenced with two-year suspended death sentences and eight-year prison terms.


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