Burmese warlord 'admits murdering sailors' in China

The defendants on trial in Kunming, 20 September The six men were brought to China in May

Related Stories

A suspected Burmese warlord and five other men have admitted murdering 13 Chinese sailors on the Mekong river at a trial in China, state media report.

Two Chinese cargo ships with 13 dead crew members were discovered on the Thai side of the river in October.

Naw Kham is believed to be one of the most powerful warlords in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Laos and Burma.

Operating in a lawless region known for drugs and smuggling, he was regarded as untouchable for more than a decade.

However, in April he was captured in Burma and was taken the following month to China along with the five other men on Chinese charges of murder, drug-trafficking, kidnapping and hijacking.

The court in Kunming will announce the sentences against the six at a later date.

Chinese pressure forced the authorities in the other three countries to act, the BBC's South-East Asia correspondent, Jonathan Head, reports from Bangkok.

However, much about this case is still unclear, our correspondent adds.

Nine Thai soldiers have also been accused of involvement in the killings and their case is still under investigation.

Map of the Mekong River

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Asia stories

RSS

Features

  • June plays with a pelicanDad's menagerie

    An extraordinary childhood growing up in a zoo


  • US soldier, part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), manning a machine gun onboard a Chinook helicopter over the Gardez district of Paktia province on 11 August 2014Viewpoint

    Nato's role in making the Afghan army sustainable


  • Architect's drawing of bedroomDeep dreams

    The homes where you can live under the sea


  • A snailHard to stomach?

    The IT worker who quit his job to farm snails for restaurants


  • An assortment of secret menu itemsMcSecret

    The fast food items you've never heard of


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.