Sai Aung Myat, No. 2 lieutenant to Sai Naw Kham, who was arrested by Lao authorities on 25 April and extradited to China on 10 May over the killing of 13 Chinese sailors on 5 October, is reported to have maintained that he was forced by Burmese authorities to make a confession, according to sources close to the suspect currently under custody in Kengtung.
Thai police chief General Priewpan Damaphong told reporters on Monday, 23 July, after a meeting with visiting Chinese security officials led by Liu Yuejin that they would be flying to Burma to accept Mr “Bong Mia”, according to Matichon daily, from Burmese authorities. He is believed to hold all the key details and knows the motive behind the murders, reported Bangkok Post.
However, Sai Aung Myat’s wife Nang Awn, who visited him recently in Kengtung, said he had only made a confession over the killings as he could not bear the painful methods used by the interrogators on him, according to a friend of the family. “He still claims he was not privy to the killings,” said the source. “He has now agreed to become the government’s witness.”
Earlier, Gen Priewpan’s deputy Pansiri Prapawat told reporters he was informed by Chinese investigators that Naw Kham had confessed to the murders.
9 Thai military officers have also been charged with the murders which took place in the triangle area where Laos, Burma and Thailand meet. All of them have reportedly denied the charge.
Naw Kham’s men surrendered to the Burmese authorities on 15 May. All of them, except for Aung Myat, were released after a few days of interrogation.
It was through his disclosure that a huge haul of drugs which included 600,000 pills of yaba and 120 blocks of heroin were seized at Wan Pong on the Golden Triangle on 2 July, said sources.
Aung Myat aka Zien Hong, 42, a native of Nam Kheum village, Mong Lane tract. Tachilek district, had served in the Mong Tai Army like Naw Kham. He had been Naw Kham’s # 2 lieutenant until his boss capture in April. The # 1 lieutenant Hsang Kham Yao was reportedly taken by Thai authorities on 20 April while on his way from Mae Fa Luang to Chiangmai.
Data Update (13:00, 25 July 2012)
It was not Aung Myat, but his wife’s uncle, Hsarm Toy, who was the whistleblower for the 2 July seizures, according to the source close to his family.
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