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Myanmar arrests three westerners in

Subject: Myanmar arrests three westerners in Shan state

Myanmar arrests three westerners in Shan state
10:59 p.m. Nov 25, 1998 Eastern

MAE HONG SON, Thailand, Nov 26 (Reuters) - Myanmar troops have arrested an
American, a Canadian and a German for entering the country illegally via a
jungle route from northwestern Thailand, Thai intelligence sources said on

The trio were indentified as Michael John, 40, from the United States,
Joseph Frank, 34, from Canada and now residing in Hong Kong and a German
whose name was given as Hdirk Rommes Wikel.

The sources located at the border with Myanmar said no further details on
the trio were available and that they had been held since last Friday.

``Informants in Ho Mong (in Shan state) said Myanmar soldiers will send the
trio to Yangon today,'' one Thai intelligence source told Reuters.

The three westerners rode on motorcyles from Mae Hong Son in northwestern
Thailand and had entered Myanmar's northern Shan state on Thursday, the
source said.

Thai paratroopers based at the border check point with Myanmar at Baan
Maikhai in the Phang Mapha district of Mae Hong Son province had reported
that they had spotted the westerners on motorcycles entering Myanmar
territory via the jungle route.

Ho Mong in Shan state, about 25 km (16 miles) from the border with Thailand,
was the former headquarters of drug warlord Khun Sa who surrendered to
Myanmar troops about two years ago.

Samreung Boonyoprakorn, the governor of Mae Hong Son province, confirmed the
reported arrests to Reuters.

``Reliable sources have confirmed that those westerners intruded into
Myanmar. Informants said they were loaded into a lorry and taken to an
undisclosed  location,'' he said when contacted by telephone.