Wa liaison officer Nyi Rang said that the online fraud operations aren’t allowed in the territory administered by the UWSA and its political arm, the United Wa State Party, and similar arrests had been made previously.
The UWSA’s online media outlet, WSTV, said Friday on its Facebook account that a total of 1,207 Chinese nationals who were arrested by the Wa state police for online fraud were handed over to the Chinese police.
China’s state Xinhua news agency, citing Beijing’s Ministry of Public Security, reported the same figure of those turned over Wednesday, and said they included 41 fugitives from justice.
The United Wa State Army is the biggest and strongest ethnic armed organization among the major ethnic minority groups in Myanmar, with an army of approximately 30,000 well-equipped soldiers and sophisticated weaponry including heavy artillery and helicopters, from China, with which it maintains close relations.
The Wa administer their territory with no interference from Myanmar’s central government in two separate enclaves in northeastern and southern parts of Shan state, the former bordering China and the other Thailand.
China also maintains good relations with Myanmar’s military rulers, who took power after the army ousted the elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi in February 2021.
In July, Chinese Ambassador Chen Hai urged Myanmar’s Foreign Affairs Minister Than Swe during a meeting in the capital Naypyitaw to work together with other neighboring countries to suppress and root out online gambling and scam centres operating in the border areas of Myanmar and rescue trapped Chinese citizens.
Chen Hai visited Naypyitaw at least three times between June and August to discuss China-Myanmar border security matters.
The UN report about Southeast Asian cybercrime said the online fraud gangs were also active in southeastern Kayin state on the Thai border.
Shwe Kokko, a small town in northern part of Kayin state’s Myawaddy township, is notorious for casino complexes that allegedly host major organised crime operations, including online scamming, gambling and human trafficking.
The complexes were developed by Chinese investors in cooperation with the local Border Guard Forces, which are militias affiliated with Myanmar’s army.
Source: Channel News Asia