Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Drug kingpin Khun Sa dead at 74

Drug kingpin Khun Sa dead at 74

Khun Sa, as the highest profile drug warlord of the fabled Golden Triangle, is reported to have died in Rangoon.

His death as occurring between the dates of October 26 to 28, a police source in Rangoon said the drug kingpin died on Sunday at his residence.

Khuensai Jaiyen, editor of the Thailand based Shan Herald Agency for News (SHAN), said the former drug lord, age 74, was suffering from diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and was half paralyzed before his death.

"His body was cremated this morning at Yaywai cemetery in Rangoon without much ceremony," Jaiyen added.

Born in 1933, Khun Sa is best known for operating a massive drug operation in a virtually autonomous stretch of territory in eastern Shan State and along the Thai-Burmese border from the mid-1970s to mid-1990s, maintaining a command center in the northern Thai town of Ban Hin Taek.

The establishment of Shan United Army, called himself as a freedom fighter in opposition to the central Burmese government, fighting for the rights and autonomy of the Shan provice and its peoples.

In year 1996 Khun Sa dissolved his fiefdom and is said to have "surrendered" to Burmese authorities. with tacit understanding,a well known that he continued to live out his days in Rangoon, with no irk or hassle from Burmese authorities.

Khuensai Jaiyen, a former secretary of Khun Sa with connections to Shan ethnic minority guerrilla groups, yesterday confirmed that his former boss died aged 74 in Rangoon on October 26.

His "surrender" came seven years after he was indicted by a New York court for drug trafficking, and at a time when Burmese authorities were keen to make a public show for their efforts in combating the trade in illegal narcotics.

The existing financial interests of Khun Sa and his family are not known in full, but his relations are rumored to continue to hold significant financial portfolios in Burma's urban centers as well as in Khun Sa's old hunting grounds along the Thai-Burmese border, including investment in a casino in the Burmese border town of Myawaddy.

Khun Sa presided over a narcotics kingdom spread over of jungle valleys, complete with latest logistics as satellite television, schools and surface-to-air missiles in the Golden Triangle region where Burma, Thailand and Laos meet.

For four decades the Robinhood style, warlord claimed to be fighting for autonomy for the Shan procince, one of many ethnic minorities who have battled Burma's central government for decades.

But global narcotics agents used terms like the "Prince of Death" as designate. United States offered a reward of $2 million for his arrest. He is estimated to have control up to 60 per cent of the world's heroin supply was refined from opium in his area at his peak.

Posted by Nksagar at 8:06 PM

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