KUNMING – Myanmar drug lord Naw Kham and three of his accomplices, all of whom were convicted of murdering 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong River in 2011, will be executed on March 1, a local court in southwest China said Wednesday.
They will be executed by lethal injection in the city of Kunming in southwest China’s Yunnan Province, the Kunming Intermediate People’s Court said.
Naw Kham’s three accomplices were identified as Hsang Kham from Thailand, Yi Lai, stateless, and Zha Xika, Laotian.
After the court rejected their appeals and withheld the death sentence, their sentences were submitted to the Supreme People’s Court (SPC) in Beijing for review. The SPC president signed an execution order after review procedures were completed.
The Kunming Intermediate People’s Court received a judgment regarding the judicial review, as well as the execution order on Feb. 22. The convicts were informed of the judgment on Feb. 24.
The execution will be supervised by the Kunming People’s Procuratorate.
The court has already arranged for the consulates of Thailand and Myanmar in Kunming, as well as the convicts’ relatives, to meet with the convicts. The court has also ensured their litigation rights.
After the execution, the court will hand over their remains, wills and personal belongings to their relatives or relevant consulates.
Naw Kham and his gang members were found to have masterminded and colluded with Thai soldiers in an attack on two Chinese cargo ships, the Hua Ping and Yu Xing 8, on Oct. 5, 2011 on the Mekong River.
Under Naw Kham’s instructions, several of his subordinates were also found to have kidnapped Chinese sailors and hijacked cargo ships in exchange for ransom in early April 2011.
The gang was broken up in early 2012 in a joint operation conducted by police from China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand after the brutal murders of Chinese sailors triggered calls to rein in rampant crime in the border region.
Naw Kham and the other three convicts were given death penalties on Nov. 6, 2012.
Another two members of Naw Kham’s gang, identified as Zha Bo and Zha Tuobo, received a death sentence with reprieve and eight years in prison, respectively.
Nicknamed “the Godfather,” Naw Kham was the boss of the largest armed drug trafficking gang on the Mekong River, which flows through China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.