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/* Written 14 Jan 6:00am 1996 by DRUNOO@xxxxxxxxxxxx in igc:reg.burma */
/* -------------" Shan State: The other players "--------------- */

There  are many other players in the drug trade in the Shan State, although
Khun  Sa  being  the most  well-known  to  the  net.  Many  of  those  from
former Burma's Communist Party, which was mutinied in 1989 into WA and KOKANG
ethnic  forces and signed cease-fire agreement with SLORC , become the most
prominent  in  drug trade. The OBLF report  mentioned  about  YANG, PHAUNG,
WEI brothers.

No one seems to have been more informed than Mr Lintner when  it  comes  to
the  Drug and Insurgency issues in Burma. Following is a short excerpt from
his report in May 1993, "THE POLITICS OF DRUG TRADE IN  BURMA",  the  names
and *colourful* background of the druglords in Burma.

It is also interesting to note that some of those  who attending the SLORC's
national convention as the  representatives  of  ethnic  nationalities  may
actually  be  the Chinese nationals who were born in Yunnan - as the report
indicated. -- U Ne Oo.

The University of Western Australia, Nedlands, Western Australia, 6009.

" Intelligence sources  almost  immediately  named  about  a  dozen  Kokang
comanders and former CPB officers who had seemed to have  taken  particular
advangate of the mutually beneficial arrangement with Burma's military:

LO  HSING-HAN,  the old opium warlord from Kokang is at the apex of the new
heroin empire in northeastern Burma. Born in 1934 in the small  village  of
Ta  Tsu  Chin on Kokang's border with Chailn, Lo, while still in his teens,
served with the private army of  the  local  rulers  of  Kokang,  the  Yang
family.  His  past involvement in the opium trade has been recorded earlier
in this paper; today, he directs the traffic from his residence  in  Lashio
and  his  camp  at the Salween Village near Nampawng which also serves as a
liaison post for the Burmese military and the former CPB forces in Mong  Ko
and  Kokang.  Salween Village camp is also located only two miles away from
Khun Sa's northernmost outpost at Loi Leng mountain,  so  an  agreement  of
sorts  also  seems  to exist between the two traditional rivals in the Shan
State opium trade. Lo Hsing-han's younger brother, LO HSING-MINH, is  based
at Kengtung where he is in charge of lisison with the former '815 War Zone'
led by Lin Ming Xian and Zhang Zhi Ming.

of  the  Yangs  in the 1960s; fled to China in the mid-1960s when the Burma
Army entered Kokang; contacted by CPB cadres in China in July 1967 and  was
promised  arms and ammunition. They went to Beijing and entered Kokang from
China on 5 January 1968 as commander  of  the  Kokang  People's  Liberation
Army,  which  merged  officially  with the CPB's army in August of the same
year. They led the army and the civilian administration in Kokang  although
he never joined the party. The Pheung brothers established the first heroin
refinery in Kokang in the mid-1970s, which prompted the Chinese to approach
the  CPB's  then  chairman,  Thakin  Ba Thein Tin, to ask him to stop their

Pheung Kya-shin was given 400,000 Kyats to close down his refinery. He  was
subsequently  transferred  to  the  party headquarters at Panghsang, but he
soon set up a new  refinery  at  Wan  Ho-tao  (NOrthern  Kengtung  District
headquarters).  The Pheungs initiated the mutiny in March 1989. At present,
the two brothers handle about 2 tons of heroin a year. Their refineries are
located in Kokang (S-aw village) and in  the  Mong  Ko  area  west  of  the
Salween.  Until fighting broke out between his forces and rival opium gangs
in Kokang in late 1992, he used to "commute" between  these  areas  and  Lo
Hsing-han's  base  in  Lashio  (and  the  NOrtheastern Command of the Burma
Army). Pheung Kya-shin's close associate Hong Ta-shung smuggled  heroin  to
Mandalay and across the border to China. He also operated a refinery in the
Mong  Ko  area  and produces 900-1,000 kgs of heroin a year. Most of it was
smuggled to Mandalay and to China.

THE YANGS are the hereditary rulers of Kokang and ruled the area until  the
Burma  Army  moved in during the mid-1960s and put up Lo Hsing-han as their
puppet there. Some Yangs joined the CPB(Communist Party of Burma) in  1968.
Today,  the clan is locally led by YANG MU LENG and his brother YAN MU ANG.
They now produce at least 1,800-2,4000 kgs of heroin a year and trade  with
Mandalay  and  China.  The  Yang  clan  also  emerged as the winners of the
NOv-Dec 1992 "opium war" in  Kokang,  and  now  has  emerged  as  the  most
powerful durg syndicate in northeastern Burma (see Chapter 5)

LIU  GO  SHI  operates heroin refineries in northeastern Shan State. Liu Go
Shi is the former treasurer of the CPB's NOrthern Bureau at  Mong  Ko.  His
refineries  produce 800-1,000 kgs/year. He sells most of his heroin to "big
byers" in Mandalay as well as across the border  to  China.  Liu  Go  Shi's
refineries are located in the hills between Mong Ko, Mong Ya and Pong Hesng
("Hpaunghsaing"  in  Burmese)  near  MOng  Ko and at to the east of the old
Northern Bureau headquarters.

HONG LAU SAN was born in Yunnan, but his family migrated to Burma  when  he
was  a  child.  In  1968, at the age of 13 and virtually uneducated, he was
recreited by the CPB to help take care mules used in the party's  transport
units.  Hong  was  later  trained  as  a  radio  operator by the CPB before
entering the drug trade in the early 1980s. despite his relative youth,  he
is  now said to be one of the wealthiest men in northeastern Burma. He runs
several heroin refineries in the hills surrounding his  base  at  Mong  Ko.
Other heroin traffickers of the same generation include AI KYAW, an officer
of  the  CPB's  former  administration in MOng Ko, and LIN NA MIN, a former
political officer of CPB's Northern Bureau.

early forties, were born in Yunnan. They were  young  radicals  during  the
Cultural   Revolution   and   active  in  a  Yunnan-based  Red  Guard-style
organisation. While still in their teens, they joined the numerous  Chinese
volunteers  who  fought  alongside the CPB in 1968. When most other Chinese
volunteers were recalled to China in the late 1970s, these three  chose  to
stay  on  and  emerged  as  some of the ablest fighters in the CPB army. Li
headed the 683 Brigade which operated in the front-line areas west  of  the
Salween  River;  Zhang served as commander of the Mong Ko-based 2nd Brigade
and Lin as chief of the  '815  War  Zone'  in  eastern  Shan  State.  Zhang
commanded  a  much-publicised  attack  on  Hsi-Hsinwan mountain in Movember
1986, while LIn led several campaigns in the hills northe of  Kengtung.  Li
fought  for years in the Loi Tsang (Hsin Taung) mojntains west of Mong Kong
and north of the Shan State capital of Taunggyi. All three entered the drug
trade in the mid-1980s, and currently cooperate  closely  with  the  Kokang
commanders;  Lin  is married to Pheung Kya-shin's daughter. They trade with
both Thailand and China, and maintain unofficial trade offices in Kengtung,
Taunggyi and at the Burma Army garrison town of  Muse,  opposite  Ruili  in
China.  In the official Burmese media, Lin Ming Xian is called "U Sai Lin";
Zhang Zhi MIng is referred to as "U Kyi Myint"; and Li Ziru as "U  Liziyu."
The  Working  People's Daily always refers to them as "leaders of the local
nationals" although all of them are Chinese from Yunnan. On 29 March  1992,
the  Working  People's Daily even pictured Zhang Zhi Ming and Lin Ming Xian
greeting the then SLORC Chairman, Gen. Saw Maung, at an Armed  Forces'  Day
reception  in  Rangoon.  In  early  1993, Lin Ming Xian was seen in Rangoon
attending a National Convention, aimed at drafting a new  constitution  for

WEI  CHAU-LONG,  WEI CHAU-KANG and WEI CHAU-YIN are three brothers who were
born in Yunnan, China. They fled to Burma after the communist  takeover  in
China  and  set  up  base at Vingngun (southern Wa Hills). From there, they
traded with Khun Sa who at that time was a KKY commander based in Tang-yan.
The Wei brothers moved their operation to the Thai border when the CPB took
over the Wa Hills in the  early  1970s.  Wei  Chau-kang  became  Khun  Sa's
treasurer,  based  at Ban Hin Taek. Later, he fell out with Khun Sa and was
put in jail near Ban Hin Taek. By bribing one of his guards  (unknown,  but
Khun  Sa  had a number of soldiers executed after the incident), he managed
to escape, and took refuge in Taiwan (1982-83).

Meanwhile, the other two Wei  brothers,  lacking  their  own  armed  forces
inside  Burma, used their old Wa Contacts and built up the Wa National Army
(led by AI CHAU HSO and PA BO KANG HSO). However, following the CPB  mutiny
and  the  establishment  of the UWSA (a merger of the Thai-border based Was
and the Wa component of the former  CPB  army),  the  eldest  brother,  WEI
CHAU-LONG,  went  to Panghsang in early 1992 to mend fences with the new Wa
leaders. He brought with him a "gift"  of  40  million  Thai  Baht  (US$1.6
million).  He  was  able  to  establish a rapport with the leader of the Wa
component of teh ex-CPB forces and to establish new  refineries  along  the
Yunnan  frontier.  As  a  result  of  the  CPB mutiny and the merger of the
non-communist and ex-communist Wa forces, the WEI brothers may  now  be  in
charge of the most heavily armed drug trafficking organisation in Burma.

With  the  collapse of the CPB as an anti-government forces, smaller allied
armies which had depended on the communists for arms and  ammunition,  also
broke  up.  In  September 1989, about 2,000 troops from the Shan State Army
(SSA), led by Hso Hten, struck a similar deal with Rangoon. This  agreement
was  followed in January 1991 by the defection of Mahtu Naw, a local Kachin
Independence Army  (KIA)  commander  from  the  Kachin-inhabited  hills  of
northeastern  Shan  State,  adjacent  to  the former CPB territory near the
Salween River. Although Mahtu Naw did not have more than a few hundred  men
under  his  command,  his  defection shattered the battle-hardened and well
organised KIA, which until then had been the only ethnic insurgent army  in
the   area  that  had  not  suffered  any  splits  or  internal  divisions.
Significantly, Mahtu Naw entered heroin trade shortly  after  his  alliance
with  the  government:  prior  to  his  defection,  the KIA's 4th Brigade's
involvement had been confined  to  tax  collection  on  opium  growers  and
merchants  in  thier  area.  Mahtu Naw now is establishing his own refinery
near Kutkai in collusion with the  99th  Light  INfantry  Division  of  the
Burmese Army, and Wa chieftain Pao Yo-chang.

PP-33, IOCPS Occassional Paper No.33 August 1993.

/* Endreport */